Engage for Change: Environmental Justice Issue

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ENGAGE FOR CHANGE JOURNAL WELCOME-SPRING 2022 Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Engage for Change Journal! This new digital, community-based journal is affiliated with Millersville University and focused on Lancaster County and the surrounding area. The Journal, to be published once a year, focuses on public engagement and issues affecting the community. To be truly inclusive, submissions come from undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, our Lancaster GAIL E. GASPARICH County community members, and collaborations within and between the University and community. Contributions can be made in a variety of forms including evidence-based research and impact articles, common ground articles (to highlight different perspectives and where these views might intersect to make progress), creative articles, perspective articles, as well as reviews, resident recognitions, and resident critiques. The Journal has several goals including: “providing a platform for sharing research and perceptions on social, political, and economic issues; integrating diverse voices from students, faculty, and members of the community on key public issues; promoting collaboration, engagement, and exchange of ideas on public issues affecting the community; operating as an outlet for discovering ideas, strategies, and actions to support the community; and, perhaps most importantly, serving as a potential pathway and catalyst for change.” The mission of the Engage for Change Journal is “to identify relevant public issues affecting the community; facilitate understandings of public issues through research, critical reflection, and discussion; provide an outlet for community members to express their informed and researched perceptions on issues; and represent diverse voices from Millersville students, staff, and members of the Lancaster community.” The tag line, engage in what matters, is well-aligned with the Millersville University EPPIIC value of Public Mission. As a public institution, Millersville University is committed to engaging with our community partners on issues of concerns to bring about a change hat benefits the region. This first issue covers the very timely topic of Environmental Justice. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines Environmental Justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” (www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/learn-about-environmental-justice) Examples of cases in environmental justice sometimes make the news when they become egregious such as the case of high levels of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan and communities in Arizona dealing with contaminated water, air and soil due to uranium mining. In both cases, the contamination overwhelmingly impacted marginalized and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Studies have shown that trash processing plants and hazardous waste sites are disproportionately found in or near socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods, where those that live there have little political voice and the inability to move. Additionally, these are the same communities that experience food deserts and a lack of healthy foods. This first issue of the Engage for Change Journal focuses on environmental justice issues in the Lancaster region. Articles include the decrease in pollinating bees and the impact that might have on farms, sewage in the Susquehanna, agricultural run-off, environmental racism, and homelessness in the region. All are meant to educate and provide opportunities for the local and regional community to engage in what matters and work to bring about change where needed. I hope you are able to find something in this issue that engages you and calls you to action for the benefit of your community. Stay healthy,


Kerrie R.H. Farkas, English & World Languages Co-Editor: Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol, McNairy Library


Adam Lawrence, Department of Government, Policy, and Law Angela L Cuthbert, Department of Geography Caleb Corkery, Department of English and World Languages Carrie Lee Smith, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Anthropology Justin Mando, Department of English and World Languages Nancy Mata, Department of Art & Design Nivedita Bagchi, Department of Government, Policy, and Law and Coordinator, Department of International Studies R. Jill Craven, Department of English and World Languages


Hannah Carricato, Digital Journalism, Web Design Specialist Sarah Solomon, Biology major, Marketing and Outreach Specialist Alison Koch, Biology major, Creative Writing and Publishing minor, Project Manager for Authors Hayley Billet, Master of Arts in English major


Emily Brosky, Digital Journalism Conor Cook, Sports Journalism Maeve Corrigan, Communication Studies with a minor in English Madeline Engleman, Early Childhood Education and minor in English:Writing Studies Kaatia Fedrow, English Brigette Garcia, English TJ Henry, Secondary English Education Jenna Karr, English-Writing Studies Alison Koch, Biology with a minor in Creative Writing and Publishing Connie Kolakowski, English with a concentration in Linguistics Sean McClain, English Olivia Miller, Multidisciplinary studies of Digital Journalism Gracie Mummau, History Peter Mylonas, Communication: Public Relations with a History Minor Tina Santangelo, Communication: Public Relations Luke Schwanger, English - Writing Studies Kylee Shellenberger, Design with minor in Creative Writing and Publishing Hannah Sutton, Media Arts Production with a General English minor Trevor Teubner, Sports Journalism Mekdes Woldu, Communications: Public Relations Michael Zabkowski, Dbl Major- Media / Arts Production and Sports Journalism


Gail E. Gasparich, Ph.D. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Millersville University


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Cheryl Lockley, University Marketing Kelly Herr, University Marketing


We would like to express gratitude for support received from the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change; the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and the Office of Grants, Sponsored Programs, and Research.

It is my great honor and pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the Engage for Change Journal. I congratulate co-Editors Kerrie Farkas and Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol for their commitment and passion in turning the vision for this Journal into a reality. Dr. Farkas, the founder of the Journal, deserves special recognition for conceiving the idea of this publication, developing a plan for its implementation and establishing a group of supporters among the faculty. LEVA ZAKE I applaud the Journal’s mission of creating an opportunity for an informed and well-argued discussion about relevant contemporary issues of social and economic policy. As we know, it is impossible for social policy decisions to be final – social, political and economic issues cannot be resolved once and for all. Instead, it is the hallmark of an open society that their social change takes place incrementally through thorough public conversations and gradual revisions. The discourse on social and economic policy has to allow for different perspectives and positions to be fully articulated and respected. In other words, when dealing with social and economic policy, instead of striving for perfect solutions, we strive for a robust discussion as a necessary precondition for making political and policy decisions with an understanding that they will always have to be revisited and revised. For these reasons, the Journal that you are about to explore plays a fundamentally crucial function. And it is particularly important that this Journal comes out of the educational context and provides both undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to sharpen essential skills in advancing productive civic discourse.

I firmly believe that the Journal has a tremendous future ahead of it and I cannot wait to see its subsequent issues. I hope that you, its readers, will find the Journal not only informative and engaging, but that it will inspire you to contribute to the conversations started on its pages. Thank you so much for joining us on this exciting new journey!

I am excited to celebrate the inaugural issue of Engage for Change. Throughout my career as a faculty member and administrator, I have advocated for, and promoted dialogue around, undergraduate research, student success, and civic action. The journal’s mission to “identify relevant public issues affecting the community; facilitate understandings of public issues through research, critical reflection, and discussion; provide an outlet for community members to express their informed and researched perceptions on issues; [and] represent diverse DR. RACHEL FINLEY-BOWMAN voices from Millersville students, staff, and members of the Lancaster community” provides a mechanism to continue such dialogue and facilitate collaboration across stakeholders. The theme of the first issue is Environmental Justice. Its articles offer timely contributions to the larger conversations about local environmental change and enable contributors and readers to “engage in what matters” to them and to those around them. Participation in this journal serves as a prime opportunity for our MU students to enhance their educational experience. By promoting their own research and creative projects, working with faculty and community experts, and building their professional capacity, students gain invaluable practice and further enrich the university’s holistic learning community. Student success is supported through this vibrant culture of exploration and exchange, ultimately contributing to the university’s vision statement to “inspire learners to change the world”. My heartiest congratulations to the editors and authors for making this inaugural issue a reality and for the meaningful outcomes and conversations it will surely produce. I look forward to enjoying many more submissions in the coming years. Best,


Ieva Zake Dean College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Millersville University

Dr. Rachel Finley-Bowman Associate Provost for Academic Support Services and Dean of Student Success Millersville University

TABLE OF CONTENTS CREATIVE A Great Egret on the Greater Susquehanna | Amber Warren | 4 Flopping Fish Ecological Art | Tina Borchert | 8 IMPACT Every Time it Rains: Environmental Rights, Pennsylvania’s Capital City, and the Susquehanna River | Dr. Justin Mando and Ted Evgeniadis | 10 Impacts of Climate Change on Southcentral Pennsylvania | Rachael Edwards and Sheyenne McNally | 14 Millersville University Saves the Bees: Certified Bee Campus | Lauren Coca | 20 “Two Sides of the Same Coin”: Homelessness as Environmental Injustice | Dawn M. Watson, Dr. Jennifer Frank, and Jenna Graeff | 26 Water Overuse and Pollution in the Susquehanna Watershed and the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act | Taylor Knecht | 36 PERSPECTIVE The Susquehanna River Watershed: Our Key to a Healthy World It All Starts HERE | Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck | 42 Tree Carving: A Graffiti That Speaks on Justice | Leah Freeman | 48 RESEARCH Choked by the Invisible Hand | Jason W. Heitmann | 52 Environmental Racism and Justice in Urban Development and Lancaster County | Jackson Fogel | 58 E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2



on the Greater Susquehanna By Amber Warren ABSTRACT This place-based ecological story follows the migratory path of a lone Great Egret up the Susquehanna River, rhetorically tracing a brief history of egret conservation along the way. This work was inspired by direct observations in nature, reflective writing, and firsthand explorations of the locations described. This writing centers on natural history and environmental advocacy, urging the reader to help protect the environment and make a difference by engaging in local conservation efforts.


Every spring, emerging from lush mangrove forests in the southern United States, countless birds start their annual migration north. Here, in the tidal flats of the Susquehanna River, where shallow waters reach out and embrace the Chesapeake Bay, a long-legged wader is preparing for its own journey. Its arrival in the Northeast marks only the beginning of a harrowing and emphatic struggle for survival. From the wigeon reeds and pond grass, where this avian creature struts and pauses, halogen lights shine, a small skiff passes, and buildings rise from a nearby shore. The town is Havre De Grace, and the bird: a female Great Egret. This small eastern city sports a population of around fourteen thousand and sits along the northernmost tip of the Chesapeake in Harford County, Maryland (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020). Small shops and a boardwalk line the river. Bridges span its length, glisten, and greet the Bay. Despite its sleepy mundanity and quaint downtown shopping, Havre De Grace is also home to something of extreme ecological value: a tidal estuary. The term estuary comes from the Latin word “aestuarium” meaning a tidal marsh or an opening. Historically speaking, these waters have been so open, in fact, that during the beginning of the 20th century, oysters in the Chesapeake were harvested to a near-critical low (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, n.d.). This in turn had negative effects further up the food chain, limiting the food sources for passing birds such as the Great Egret, as well as many other migratory waterfowl.

“Warm and still is the summer night, As here by the river’s brink I wander; White overhead are the stars, and white The glimmering lamps on the hillside yonder. Silent are all the sounds of day; Nothing I hear but the chirp of crickets, And the cry of the herons winging their way.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1878).

Thankfully, the waters today tell a different story. They now provide a home to over three thousand six hundred different species of plants and animals making this small town a true Haven of Grace (Chesapeake Bay Program, n.d.). Here, the estuary sports a variety of tasty creatures for birds such as our egret. Sifting through the alluvial deposits of tidal flats in search of small amphibians and fish, this bird will happily find a feast.

With a long slender neck and pleated fans for wings, the egret flaps twice and ascends, long legs stretching behind her. In moments, she strikes out on her own, following the Atlantic sea-breeze north in a ritual as old as time. Followed and preceded by many others, this bird will slowly make its way upriver towards New York and on to the next leg of its journey, guided by an internal compass and compelled by the unseen force of biology.


Moving up river, our egret pauses at another sanctuary: The Conejohela Flats. Here in Lancaster County, the mighty river rounds a bend and flattens out for a moment just above three prodigious feats of civil engineering: the Safe Harbor, Holtwood, and Conowingo dams (National Audubon Society, 2018a). Lying at the foot of Turkey Hill (the geographical landmark) and peeking out of Lake Clark, the native-named Conejohela Flats stretches out across the widened river. These grounds are protected and celebrated as Important Bird Areas, designated by the Pennsylvania Audubon Society (National Audubon Society, 2018a). Compared to the ancient origins of the Susquehanna River itself, these islands are relatively new. These wetlands provide a much-needed home for an array of wildlife species. They formed, in part, from sediment build-up, residual from the construction of the dams, and reside in what is now Lake Clark. Left unchecked, this continuous sediment


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A GREAT EGRET on the Greater Susquehanna

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A GREAT EGRET on the Greater Susquehanna

buildup threatens to flow downstream, compromising the health of the river and posing a danger to life in the bay (Fears, 2011). The tide of the lake today reveals large bands of sediment and earth on a multitude of islands, while permanently obscuring others (Crable & Harp, 2021). These submerged islands would have otherwise emerged annually, in tandem with the Spring migration. In this wetland habitat, Gulls and Grebes dot the sand bars in a sea of mottled white and brown. Among the throngs of shore birds and waterfowl, our Great Egret folds her wings and does an obsidian limbed stilt-dance along the shoreline, cleaning under a wing, and perhaps preparing for its last leg of the journey.


Herons and egrets alike make their nests among the many Susquehanna River islands. The most notable of these sites is the Sheets Island Archipelago. This island located next to the State Capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, is home to what is considered to be the largest Great Egret colony in the state (National Audubon Society, 2018b). Every year, male and female Great Egrets come here to build and perfect their nests, pairing off for the season. Flying from miles downriver, our own egret joins the masses and awaits her suiter. Many more will arrive and crowd the island, webbed feet in the mud, to flail and flap their exquisite feathers, adding ornamentation and showy affect to this annual courtship ritual. Just as Great Egrets have used their dazzling white plumage to excite and impress, so too were people drawn to this adornment. The growing trend for women in the 1800’s was to adorn one’s hair and hats with Great Egret feathers. During this high point for fashion - and low point for conservation - countless egrets along the Susquehanna were shot and killed for profit (National Audubon Society, 2021). In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed in an effort to protect birds of all kinds from being trapped, captured, killed or otherwise harmed. Over the last one hundred years, these birds have emerged from the brink of extinction, having narrowly missed being eulogized in the history books alongside of the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. These species represent just a few of the many avian casualties resulting from rampant industrialization and unimpeded human gain in America over the last two centuries.


From the alluvial plains where the Atlantic coast meets the winding Susquehanna, to the split of the “Y” towards the top of Pennsylvania, Great Egrets face many obstacles. In a valiant effort, they continue to make their annual flight from solo shores to quarreling colony. In this confluence of past and present, one thing is apparent: Conservation is an ongoing fight that requires constant effort and support. Although we no longer hunt Great Egrets for their plumes, they still face an adverse and uncertain path forward due to ongoing pollution and habitat destruction. It is truly wondrous that we may view these birds today and delight in their triumphant return to the annals of Pennsylvania’s natural history. However, with the continuous rise of development, both rural and industrial, there remains an ongoing threat to the Susquehanna River and its many ecosystems. This threat is most evident in the form of man-made pollution and waste, nitrogen-laden farm runoff, and increased water acidity. All of these factors contribute to habitat loss and, ultimately, disrupt the life cycles of animals that depend on the Susquehanna for survival. While our egret may have survived to see another summer, and perhaps spawn her own future generation, there is reason for concern. Organizations like the National Audubon Society and the Chesapeake Conservancy, among many others, help protect endangered species and ensure the continuous protection of those populations either rebounding or in resuscitation. However, it is up to individuals like you, dear reader, to also know and care for these beautiful birds. One can make a difference by educating oneself and others about the importance - and natural wonder - of these creatures and the truly unique habitats they call home. Conservation efforts are community efforts. Inspired and meaningful change is possible through local involvement and contribution. May we take a word from Henry Wordsworth Longfellow who reminds us to “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think” (Longfellow, 1854, p.110).


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A GREAT EGRET on the Greater Susquehanna


Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (n.d.). Eastern oysters. https://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/more-than-just-the-bay/ chesapeake-wildlife/eastern-oysters/index.html Chesapeake Bay Program. (n.d.). Facts & figures. https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/facts Crable, A., & Harp, D. (2021, October 21). Paddle a string of islands at the Conejohela Flats. Bay Journal. https://www.bayjournal. com/travel/paddle-a-string-of-islands-at-the-conejohela-flats/article_13c479da-26ce-11ec-977c-9fc2c4167881.html Fears, D. (2011, November 6). Susquehanna dam’s sediment has officials fearing for the Chesapeake Bay. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/susquehanna-dams-sediment-has-officials-fearing-for-thechesapeake-bay/2011/10/12/gIQAIMUZtM_story.html Longfellow, H. W. (1854). The works of Henry W. Longfellow (vol.2). Katz Bros. Longfellow, H. W. (1878). The herons of Elmwood. Maine Historical Society. https://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=234 National Audubon Society. (2018a, May 10). Conejohela Flats. Audubon. https://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/conejohela-flats National Audubon Society. (2018b, May 10). Sheets island archipelago. Audubon. https://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/sheets-island-archipelago National Audubon Society. (2021, October 20). Great egret. Audubon. https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/great-egret United States Census Bureau. (2020, April 1). QuickFacts Havre de Grace city, Maryland. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/havredegracecitymaryland/POP010220#POP010220

AMBER WARREN is a Lancaster City-based aspiring writer and recent Millersville Alumni. Having earned her B.S. in Speech Communications, she seeks to employ the written word as a means to foster conservation. In her work she is both curious and passionate. A life-long love of the great outdoors and a passion for reading have instilled in her a quiet reverence for nature as well as a deep desire to preserve the natural beauty of our rapidly developing world. When she is not immersed in a book, you can find her hiking the many beautiful trails of the Susquehanna River Valley. She aspires to achieve a meaningful career and a life well-lived.

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FLOPPING FISH Ecological Art By Tina Borchert ABSTRACT This article discusses the process and story leading up to the sculpture created by the Art Club, from the river cleanup project. A collective decided to come together, hauling out all supplies necessary to clean up a shared environmental space. The waste lugged out of the river by the community is then sorted through and artists pick out the most useful pieces. They use these to create a sculpture. One that is visually enticing and thought provoking as well.

The Art Club at Millersville University had the opportunity to collaborate with the Conestoga River Club on a cleanup of the Conestoga River this past spring. One reason we took up this opportunity is to help clean our surrounding community. When our club realized we would be able to help clean up our environment and create an art piece during the event, we were really intrigued. This was also during a time of the year where COVID-19 still had a significant impact on school activities. A usual semester for our club can look like museum and gallery trips; however, activities were limited due to restricted face-to-face contact, which made our club small. After hearing about this event, the Art Club members and officials could not turn it down. This clean up means a lot, as the Conestoga River stretches across Lancaster County, which then diverges into smaller creeks that reach as far as Lititz. This means that if the Conestoga River were to become polluted, it could contaminate water across counties, affecting a wide range of people. The event took place on a Saturday and included a diverse group of at least 50 people like local officials, club members, and community members who feel strongly about keeping their local environment clean. The Art Club members present, Heidi and Oscar pictured below, grabbed a trash bag in one hand and a trash grabber in the other, alongside me and all the other community members that came ready to act. We walked around collecting trash for about an hour along the river. A handful of people were not afraid to get dirty and walked right into the edge of the



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FLOPPING FISH Ecological Art


water. Some of the River Club members who organized the event came prepared with a few pairs of hip waders. With these, they were able to walk entirely through the river to pick up debris at any distance. Eventually, the members of the Art Club turned in a bit earlier than the rest to start creating the sculpture on site. It was hard to have a plan of what to build before we arrived, since we had no clue what pieces would be retrieved from the river. We formulated ideas of what to make based off big items pulled in that day, such as a plastic car piece, which appeared to be a bumper, and an inventive pedestal of tires. Tires ended up being our most found item of the day, pulling out at least 30 of them from the river. It was when we saw the curvature of the bumper and all the fishing related waste being collected, that we had the idea of the fish as our subject. We created the idea for our sculpture: “a fish out of water.” To us, this felt like a clear and somewhat ironic way to shine light on the issues of water pollution. Specifically, we wanted people to understand how pollution is affecting all wildlife in general, which in turn begins to affect us as well. We started slowly piecing the sculpture together as we got more members emptying their trash collections on the ground for us to sort through. We were choosing items based on how clean they were; we didn’t come prepared to clean pieces and some were really drenched in the river or covered in bugs. The smaller trash pulled out included items like fishing gear, car pieces, cassette tapes, purses, and pottery; the list goes on. Some pieces collected called out as obvious answers to us, such as the pointy traffic cone we used for the main fin as well as for additional support. We used the tennis ball as the fisheye and the ribbed metal sheet for back fins. When we arrived at the cleanup, we were slightly worried about how exactly we would piece everything together because we had no idea what kinds of materials would be collected. The entire creative process was really improvised, but what was satisfying to us was that we were able to build the entire thing with found objects. Even the rope and string we used to adhere all the pieces together were pulled out during the cleanup. We wedged items in places they fit, tying other items onto the sculpture with fishing lines and other rope materials we found. The sculpture was then easily transported, as the fish piece was detachable from the tire pedestal. We were proud to be given the opportunity to display our collective sculpture at the Lombardo Welcome Center on campus for a couple of weeks, and then later at the Swift Gallery in Breidenstine Hall. This felt like such an accomplishment for the three of us for a few reasons: It was one of the first big activities we had done since COVID hit, so it felt exceptionally rewarding. I believe it was also the first river cleanup any of us had done. Finally, we immensely proud that we got to make artwork out of the found items and display our efforts to the public in hopes they learn more about the problems of pollution.

TINA BORCHERT was President of Art Club at the time during which the river clean up sculpture occurred. They now hold the position of Vice President and are still very much involved in club activities. They are a Fine Arts major at Millersville University, in their junior year, with a concentration in painting. Alongside the concentration they are often found in the studio as they hold a position as the painting studio technician. Outside of painting they find interest in making projects from unconventional materials. Such as Project Condom, a campus event designed after Project Runway. In their free time they enjoy going out to eat with friends and creating.

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Environmental Rights, Pennsylvania’s Capital City, and the Susquehanna River By Dr. Justin Mando and Ted Evgeniadis ABSTRACT Pennsylvania’s capital city operates an antiquated sewage system that inadequately processes stormwater and sewage to the extent that every time it rains sewage pours directly into the Susquehanna River. This problem is not only harmful to aquatic life; it harms humans. In the case of Harrisburg, this is an issue of environmental justice. We argue that citizens and lawmakers must address this problem immediately, rather than take a free ride while others pay the cost. We highlight efforts by the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association to aid in developing a remedy for this situation through their successful legal intervention in the Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s case against the owners and operators of Harrisburg’s sewage system. Capital Region Water.

Every time it rains, raw sewage enters the Susquehanna River. This simple fact, proven by extensive water monitoring of combined stormwater outflows (CSO)1, is a problem for everyone and everything this polluted water touches. Traces of pharmaceutical drugs flow through the gills of smallmouth bass, into the capillaries of eel-grass, and into the stomachs of blue herons at City Island. Phosphorus and nitrogen from the sewage flow downriver through Dauphin and Lancaster Counties, through the dams, and down to the Chesapeake Bay where they cause harm through algal blooms, dead zones that kill blue crabs, and impact the lives of those who depend on a healthy bay. E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria enter the river where children splash in the shallows near the Governor’s Mansion; however, this impact on the residents of Harrisburg and other communities that line the banks of the Susquehanna is more than just a problem. This is an issue of environmental justice that must be resolved. The injustice here is that residents of Harrisburg who make up the minority of users of the sewage system find their sources of freshwater too polluted for recreation. Lawmakers who hold office in our Capitol can drive to the beach for their summer vacation or pay for a membership to a chlorinated pool. Many who call our capital city home do not have this option, and neither do they have the option to safely splash and swim on a hot July day in the river that flows past their doorsteps. Pennsylvania is one of only five states with an environmental rights provision in its constitution. Our Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA) reads: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. (Pennsylvania Constitution Article I § 27) There is a lot to unpack in our ERA; from Pennsylvania’s role as “trustee,” to the mystifying calculations that determine when air is clean and water is pure, to the value-laden mire of how we know when a place has been “preserved” or “conserved.” Especially worth considering today is a line that resonates with the zeitgeist (i.e. spirit of the times) of 1971 when our amendment was ratified. This is the reminder that our “public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come” (Pennsylvania Constitution Article I § 27). Calling out this “common property” invokes Garret Hardin’s (1968) concept of the tragedy of the commons. When our shared river is despoiled, this is a tragedy in the dramatic sense of the word. It is a tragedy when those with the power to protect our common resources turn a blind eye. It is a tragedy in that it leads to our downfall. When the Halloween candy bowl is on the front stoop, and the sign says, “Take One,” what do you do? It seems there are many among us without the scruples to resist the full handful. Some even tip the whole bucket into their bag with the awareness that hours of trick-or-treating remain. Those walking the path behind are, metaphorically speaking, what economists might refer to as free riders (Stigler, 1974). Our Environmental Rights Amendment provides for them, too. They are the “generations yet to come” and they are people today. These people can contribute nothing to our personal and societal sacrifices in the name of clean air, pure water, and preservation, so they get a free ride. Yet, every time it rains, raw sewage enters the Susquehanna River. Why this situation remains, among countless other environmental offenses is, unsurprisingly, a complex question. There is no easy answer to this question and a solution will be expensive. What is not so difficult to see when you start looking is that these broken promises 1 The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (LSRA) conducted bacterial sampling testing for both fecal coliform and E.coli during the 2019-2021 summer seasons on both the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek. Monitoring continues.


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are not broken equally among us all. This is Stigler’s (1974) formulation of the problem when he explains, “The free rider proposition asserts that in a wide range of situations, individuals will fail to participate in collectively profitable activities in the absence of coercion or individually appropriable inducements” (p. 359). In other words, people fail to chip in when they are not certain they will not personally get enough out of the investment. We ourselves may be called free riders if we resist actively engaging problems that impact those of us with the least. Those of us who are willing to pay our fair share to improve our world for the common good are not free riders, but free riders are those who would rather postpone the necessary investment in Harrisburg’s sewage system.


Demographic data from Harrisburg, capital city of our commonwealth, connects these free riders and the topic of environmental justice by showing that the shared resources of all are being spoiled for those in a recognized environmental justice community. Harrisburg is home to over 49,000 residents, 26.2% of whom are living in poverty according to the 2019 United State Census (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019). Our capital boasts a diverse population of 65% of residents identifying as races other than white alone. The largest employer, unsurprisingly, is our state government (Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry [Pa. Dept. Labor & Ind.], 2021). Of course, not all those people working for the state government live within Harrisburg city limits. Yet, when the toilets flush at our State Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, and any other facility, home, or business some of that waste flows directly into the river. What does demographic data have to do with a problem that seemingly affects us all? Why is this an environmental justice issue? Environmental justice communities are those who are at risk as minorities and/or their socioeconomic status. Pennsylvania officially defines Environmental Justice Areas as those where 20% of people live below the federal poverty line and /or at least 30% identifies as non-white (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection [PADEP], 2021). Pennsylvania explains the purpose of this designation in terms of public participation in decision-making regarding environmental concerns. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection explains, “The primary goal of the OEJ [Office of Environmental Justice] is to increase community involvement by increasing community awareness” (PADEP, 2021, para 2). This is an admirable goal to gain the input of community members in the political process. However, when faced with an ongoing issue like Harrisburg’s sewage problem, public input does not suffice.


The Susquehanna River, Paxton Creek, and Spring Creek are all impaired by pathogens for recreational uses due to Combined Sewer Overflow. The majority of the sewer system in the City of Harrisburg is a ‘combined sewer system,’ meaning that both stormwater runoff and sanitary and industrial wastewater are collected and transported together through the same conveyances. During rainfall events, the volume of wastewater entering the Combined Sewer System exceeds the hydraulic capacity of the sewers and/or the treatment facility. In those circumstances, the Conveyance and Collection Systems will discharge untreated combined sewage from certain designated outfalls, known as combined sewer outfalls. This untreated sewage flows directly into the Susquehanna River and its tributaries, polluting our river, threatening human health, and endangering animals who live there. In 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted on this problem by filing a complaint against the city of Harrisburg and Capital Region Water (CRW) for violations of the Clean Water Act and PA Clean Streams Law due to these overflows. Plaintiffs and Defendants immediately lodged a partial consent decree2 on February 10, 2015. The Parties admitted in the partial consent decree

Figure 1.1 Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Stars in the lower right indicate Paxton Creek and Spring Creek (Google Maps). E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2



that the document did not include measures sufficient to resolve the legal violations caused by CRW’s sewage releases and practices. This partial consent decree was, from the start, an insufficient effort to provide Harrisburg’s citizens, and those downstream, with clean river water. This is where the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association steps in. The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (LSRA) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization that functions as the eyes, ears, and voice of Lower Susquehanna Watershed, covering a territory of over 8,500 square miles. The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Ted Evgeniadis, patrols the watershed for pollution on behalf of the people to ensure compliance with environmental laws. Harrisburg’s CSO problem is one of today’s primary concerns, but his efficacy as an advocate for clean water can also be seen in a recent victory against Talen Energy, the owner and operator of Brunner Island which is a coal fired power plant in York County, PA. The Riverkeeper monitored a tributary near Brunner Island’s coal ash disposal ponds and detected alarming levels of toxic heavy metals, like Arsenic, seeping through multiple groundwater springs. LSRA filed a complaint in federal court against Talen Energy, for significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act, and Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law. In 2019, LSRA represented by the Environmental Integrity Project, and parties including the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection settled the violations against Talen Energy and the federal court granted a joint motion to enter a consent decree. This historic agreement ordered Talen Energy to pay a $1 million fine, the largest ever levied in Pennsylvania for coal ash pollution, and the company was ordered to clean up these sites which were leaching toxic pollutants into our waters. This is just one example among many of how the LSRA serves its role of holding polluters accountable. Capital Region Water and Harrisburg’s untreated sewage present a different problem from Brunner Island, as this pollution has been acknowledged through a partial consent decree, yet it continues. In 2020, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association met twice with the Department of Environmental Protection to discuss its concerns over the prolonged and continuous discharges of illicit untreated sewage from the Harrisburg sewage system into the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek. LSRA requested these meetings over concerns of ongoing sewage overflows, after finding that water samples collected from these waterways downstream of sewer outfalls had high levels of E. coli bacteria levels, which can cause illness in humans and animals alike. The Riverkeeper and its counsel with the Environmental Integrity Project sent a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and DEP in February of 2020 that described CRW’s violations and outlined changes necessary to curb these discharges of untreated sewage and bring Harrisburg’s sewer systems into compliance with environmental laws. Despite the lapse of six years since the Partial Consent Decree was entered, the parties have failed to abate violations to the Clean Water Act and Clean Streams Law alleged in the 2015 Complaint. In fact, the Parties have failed to maintain the required control plans required by the Partial CD that would work towards abating these underlying violations, as evidenced by public reporting required by this Partial CD. These same public records show that the Parties have also failed to make meaningful progress toward a final consent decree to ultimately resolve these violations. Every day that these illicit sewage discharges and other violations continue posing risks to public health and the environment. Each year, CRW continues to release hundreds of millions, or even sometimes well over a billion, gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater into waters of the Commonwealth. This pollution threatens public health and safety and degrades water quality. These continuing sewage overflows and other pollution incidents violate the Clean Water Act, the Clean Streams Law, CRW’s NPDES Permits, and the Partial CD. The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association seeks to intervene in this suit for purposes of addressing Capital Region Water’s ongoing and significant discharges of untreated sewage and pollutants in excess of permitted limits into waters of the Commonwealth in violation of the requirements of the Clean Water Act and Clean Streams Law and the resulting threats to human health and the environment from such violations. LSRA seeks to intervene because, despite CRW’s proposed plans that would expend hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of decades, the Parties have failed to maintain a NMC plan and obtain a LTCP or a consent decree that would achieve compliance with these environmental laws or result in sufficient reductions in the releases of raw fecal matter and other pollutants into the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.


The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper was licensed by Waterkeeper Alliance at the request of citizens, including some within government, that thought we needed a stronger advocate for the Susquehanna watershed, an advocate that would hold polluters and the government to task. LSRA is one among many organizations working to improve the environmental health of our watershed. There are many that work to educate the public of these problems and their solutions, that work to clean up our waterways, and provide hope for residents that our water will live up to the promise of our Environmental Rights Amendment. On May 6, 2021, the Lower Susquehanna River Association and Environmental Integrity Project filed a complaint in federal court seeking to intervene in the state’s stalled 2015 lawsuit against Capitol Region Water. We are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania hold Capital Region Water accountable for ending the routine piping of millions of gallons of raw sewage and stormwater into the waterways of the people of Harrisburg down to the Chesapeake Bay. On December 17, 2021, United States District Judge, Christopher Connor, granted the LSRA’s intervention, establishing this organization as a plaintiff alongside the Environmental Protection Agency and 2 A consent decree is a legal tool that courts can use to force regulatory compliance, e.g., Capital Region Water meeting the requirements of the Clean Water Act. By using a consent decree, the parties in a legal dispute avoid going to trial, which is a slower and more costly process; however, these agreements may also lead to ambiguity over who has the power to enforce penalties in the event one party does not comply (Resnik, 1987).


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the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. This is a major step towards fixing this problem as the LSRA now can help ensure that CRW is making the changes necessary to stop the flow of sewage into our waterways. We all have the right to clean water as granted by our Environmental Rights Amendment, the Clean Water Act, and human rights. Still, our water is not clean. This is a tragedy of the commons. Our shared belonging—not shared only among humans—is defiled for lack of the will and resolve to make the necessary change. The free riders, those not paying their fair share, are those who drag their feet to waylay the costs of remediating the antiquated sewage system. A $1 million settlement like that of the LSRA’s victory at Brunner Island is a drop in the bucket for this problem. The cost to renovate this sewage system is astronomical, yet we must pay. Otherwise, our communities will continue paying with their bodies. We call on you to carefully consider how our communities, like Harrisburg, are affected by injustice, which can come in many forms. Here, a dysfunctional sewage system exacerbates the tragedy of the commons and hurts those who can afford it the least. We must speak out to those who will listen to demand that politicians in Harrisburg direct funds to fix this problem. You can volunteer with an organization like the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association to work directly on advocacy efforts like these. You can also recreate on the Susquehanna River by fishing, boating, birdwatching, hiking, and many other activities to show by your presence that this is a place worth saving. We must act now so we can salvage what we have left and create a better future for all. Then, every time it rains, we will dance in the creeks. https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2021/11/we-need-to-use-some-of-the-federal-funds-coming-to-pennsylvania-to-stop-thesewage-overflow-nightmare-in-harrisburg-opinion.html


Hardin, G. (1968) The tragedy of the commons: The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension of morality. Science, 162(3859), 1243-1248. Pa. Const. Article I, § 27. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (2021). FAQs. Office of Environmental Justice. https://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/OfficeofEnvironmentalJustice/Pages/FAQ.aspx Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Center for Workforce Information & Analysis. (2021). Quarterly census of employment and wages. https://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Documents/Top%2050/Dauphin_County_Top_50.pdf Resnik, J. (1987). Judging consent. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1987(1), 43-102. Stigler, G. J. (1974). Free riders and collective action: An appendix to theories of economic regulation. The Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, 5(2), 359-365. United States Census Bureau (2019). QuickFacts Harrisburg city, Pennsylvania. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/harrisburgcitypennsylvania.

DR. JUSTIN MANDO is an Associate Professor of Writing Studies in the Department of English & World Languages at Millersville University. He is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association. He feels very fortunate for opportunities like this one to combine his interests in rhetoric, teaching, outdoor recreation, and community engagement. Justin is a Pennsylvania native, born along Lake Erie. He went to the shores of Lake Champlain to the University of Vermont for his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He taught English as a Second Language in the Czech Republic and Slovakia by the Vltava and Danube Rivers before returning to Pennsylvania to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University amid the confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers. Water has always been a central part of his life and the Susquehanna is now his home. TED EVGENIADIS has been the active leader of the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association since April, 2017 as the Riverkeeper and its Executive Director. Ted works as an alliance builder, diplomat, and educator, but also, when the situation calls for it, an unrelenting defender and advocate of our right and the river’s right to be healthy and prosperous. He utilizes education, chemical and biological monitoring, pollution patrols, partnership building, public events, research, and legal action to improve the health of the Susquehanna’s waterways. Ted assists the government by reporting non-compliance of the law, and follows through where environmental protection agencies are unable to do their job due to politics or funding issues. He is rooted in the movement, which includes over 350 Waterkeepers worldwide, in advocating for fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for our communities.

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Impacts of CLIMATE CHANGE on Southcentral Pennsylvania By Rachael Edwards and Sheyenne McNally ABSTRACT The climate crisis can be felt around the world even in the smallest towns. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of those small towns. Negative effects of this crisis can be felt within Pennsylvania’s communities, as well as the state’s agricultural sectors. Some categories within Pennsylvania’s communities and agriculture sectors are infrastructure, health, agriculture, overall wildlife safety, and the economy. Thorough article research was done, followed by data collection of temperature, river discharge, and precipitation values over the years of 2008 to 2020. After data analysis, figures and tables were constructed to showcase the relationships of these variables. Correlations between precipitation and temperature (Figure 1), river discharge and temperature (Figure 2), and precipitation and river discharge (Figure 3) were observed. A Pearson correlation for each relationship was calculated using R-Studio. P-values were obtained and showed significance for each relationship (see Figures 1, 2, & 3). Current climate issues were addressed and were related back to the data to show the implications faced by individuals in Southcentral Pennsylvania.


Humans are the largest contributor to the climate crisis. Protecting the Earth and monitoring the climate is vital to our survival. For too long, we have taken the environments resources for granted, and now we are being held accountable for it. Seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns are beginning to change. Days which are already hot are becoming even hotter and the frequency of extreme weather events are increasing (Constible, 2019). As a society, there are many ways in which we are affected. Pennsylvania infrastructure, livestock, and water supply are all susceptible to damage from extreme climate variations (Shortle et al., 2020). Types of common infrastructure include houses, buildings, and roads. Most houses in the Lancaster County area are not elevated like the houses in more coastal regions. As time continues, it is likely that our homes will prove to be ill adapted to high levels of precipitation such as rainfall. In the commonwealth, the elevated frequencies of flooding are due to the escalation of heat. In Southcentral Pennsylvania, the frequency of rainfall we receive, as well as the magnitude and intensity to which we receive it, will increase (PAEP, IFC, PSU, 2021). In Lancaster, PA alone, from 2008 to 2020, there was a positive correlation between precipitation and temperature (Figure 1). To put this into perspective, the University of Massachusetts Amherst did a study which stated that over the last century, sea level has risen by almost a foot around Philadelphia, PA and is predicted to rise more with time (Bradley et al., 2015). Our homes and roads are also maladapted to that temperature and sea level rise. Most roofs in Lancaster County have dark shingles which absorb sunlight rather than light-colored ones which reflect it. Not only will this cause an increase in cooling prices, but it will also pose an effect on the economy (PAEP, IFC, PSU, 2021). In Lancaster County, we receive our water supply from both the Susquehanna (~60%) and Conestoga (~40%) rivers. Both rivers feed into the ecologically vibrant Chesapeake Bay, which has become greatly affected by human activity (Shortle et al., 2020). Soil erosion and runoff from farming are the main contributors to this poor water quality. Within agriculture and ecology, the changing climate has had some lasting influence. Changes in forage productivity of wildlife and protein content/digestibility of plant are just two examples. On-farm grain yields and quality for livestock feed has decreased, which increased the price of normal quality feed. In addition to this, heat stress has the biggest impact on livestock fertility. Meat and milk production from cattle is a large portion of Pennsylvania agriculture. When emissions surge, heat stress escalates while milk production is reduced, so dairy farmers must keep them comfortable by implementing a cooling system (UCS, 2008). Elevated heat during summer months, will result in a higher demand for cooling irrigation systems, which can be costly. From other parts of the world with naturally warmer climates, we will see a migration of pathogens into the United


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IMPACTS of Climate Change

States. This can include parasites and viruses. Prior to this migration, there was no current need to concern ourselves with these microbes, but since they may reduce Pennsylvania livestock yields and raise production costs, we now must be concerned (Shortle et al., 2020). Humans create a domino effect within climate change. Now that we have caused the damage, we will face the repercussions through health risks, fragile ecosystems, and a deteriorating economy.


Climate change causes elevated health risks which are primarily felt by people in dense urban settings. Rising temperatures create dangerous heat levels within cities because the buildings and pavement are more likely to absorb heat, rather than reflect it (UCS, 2008). Without costly controls, society will be at an even greater risk for heat stress, heatstroke, and heat exhaustion. As temperature goes up, air quality will decrease. With poor air quality, large numbers of citizens will be at risk for respiratory issues, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Other related, but non-respiratory dangers include cardiac arrest, memory disorders, and birth defects (UCS, 2008). Specific variables that are concerned with air quality are smog and ground-level ozone levels, which exacerbate lung damage (USEPA, 2017). Poor air quality and the contaminants it brings with combined with heat results in higher levels of precipitation (Figure 1), which can pose yet more health concerns.

Effects on Infrastructure Extreme levels of rainfall has its own dangers. People can be exposed to hazardous mold and contaminated water (Constible, 2019). Houses with major structural deficiencies, like cracks in foundations/walls or insufficient heating/ cooling, are more prone to water damage during storms. This damage makes houses more susceptible to mold growth. The aging water filtration systems in Pennsylvania, will result in gradually expanding contamination. Runoff from streets, farms, and wastewater are the main contributors (Constible, 2019). Flooding causes structural risks, which disrupt everyday travel, as well as emergency situations by blocking roads and damaging crucial facilities. In neighboring counties, such as Dauphin and Cumberland, the USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) has declared the water to be 10 times more contaminated by E. coli bacteria than the maximum acceptable level (Constible, 2019). E. coli are also capable of thriving within our aging waste removal systems. Some strands of E. Coli are nonvirulent and can be found symbiotically living inside humans, but in large amounts this bacterium can present as virulent strains which will create harmful drinking water. As climate change advances, there will be a dangerously high demand for clean water (Smith, 2008).

Effects on Physical Health Humans are the cause for these environmental changes, and as a species we will feel the consequences of it. Rising temperatures are leading to earlier and longer growing seasons in Pennsylvania. This creates an earlier start to spring—a time of year which people also refer to as allergy season—and a potentially longer pollen season overall (Constible, 2019). Elevated pollen levels will put citizens at a higher chance of allergic reactions, resulting in hay fever, congestion, and headache. As we experience a longer duration of allergy season, our day-to-day lives will be impacted by lost sleep, congestion, and headache, which are common inflammatory responses from pollen contact.

Effects on Surrounding Environment Elevated precipitation and heat create an environment which unwanted pests can continue to thrive in much longer than they normally would. Ticks and mosquitoes will become active much earlier in the season and their lifespan will increase. Usually, cold temperatures are enough to kill these pests, but without an appropriate season, they will stay around. In the United States, Lyme disease is the most common illness transmitted by ticks. While this disease can usually be helped with antibiotics, its effects are lasting and can be felt for months after treatment. In Lancaster County, the deer tick is quite common and is a transmitter of Lyme disease. Not only will we have to look out for our beloved pets, but we will have to diligently look after ourselves. Another pest of concern are the Asian tiger mosquitoes. These insects, among others, are carriers of the West Nile virus. With warming temperatures in the United States, especially along coasts, they will be able survive in our local, now-comfortable environment (Constible, 2019). The presence of these species and others like them will increase the rate of virulent pathogens, some of which we may have not seen in the U.S. before. A shift in plant species can also be seen due to temperature increase. Poison ivy, which causes painful rashes, will be expected much more within places like Pennsylvania (Smith, 2008). With an abundance of this warm-weather species and others like it, they could prove to be parasitic to other plant species within Pennsylvania’s ecosystem.


Effects on Dairy Production

In Pennsylvania, dairying is the largest industry within agriculture. In 2002, it had a value of $1.4 billion and in 2012, 4.76 million kilograms of milk were produced, which was fifth in the nation (Jiang et al., 2015). Around 60,000 farms within Lancaster County, alone, are family-owned and have been for generations (UCS, 2008). There are many variables that could have a lasting effect on this industry. For instance, over the last decade the average level of cow milk intake among Americans has decreased; however, the consumption of other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, has increased. While this may seem like an ideal scenario, it is not. Dairy farming already operates on slim profit margins (UCS, 2008), and climate change may very well make them worse. To fulfill the consumer demand for meat/dairy products, cattle must be farmed, but they account for 10-15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (Jiang et al., 2015). By 2050, the demand for cow products will only increase, causing emissions to proportionately escalate. From another perspective, if cows are to continue being farmed, the industry E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2


IMPACTS of Climate Change

will face even more repercussions. Economically speaking, heat stress will cause the most damage. As temperatures rise, the animals will become stressed and with that, will produce less product. During the month of July, optimal temperatures for dairy farming should be no more than 23°C (75°F) (UCS, 2008). Temperatures reached 24°C and 25°C (75°F and 77°F) in July of 2019 and 2020, respectively (Figure 4). Though the difference of 1°C to 2°C may not seem that drastic, by the time 2050 is here, the effects could be detrimental. Pennsylvania’s dairy farming community already suffers a loss of $50.8 million a year, which is only expected to rise over time. As financial losses are suffered, the physical ability of milk to be produced will decrease by 10% by 2050 (UCS, 2008).

Effects on Crops Grapes, apples, and sweet corn are the most profitable of all crops farmed in Pennsylvania. The vineyards in northwestern PA rake in around $181 million a year alone, leaving the state as the third largest producer of Concord grapes. In 2006, PA was the fourth largest state in apples production, with almost $60 million in sales. Sweet corn is grown and sold in every county within the state, with production and sales peaking in July and August (UCS, 2008). Along with these sales peaks, the summer heat is also at its highest. As part of the natural process of photosynthesis, plants require some degree of energy to thrive. The most common source of energy comes from the sun in the form of light and heat. Just as everything else in life, less really can be more, especially when it comes to temperature. In wintertime, it is imperative that temperatures reach 45°F (7°C) or less, for at least 1,800 hours, so that Concord grapes can meet acceptable standards for sales. This holds true for apples as well. On the other side of this, if temperatures go above 90°F (32°C), sweet corn taste can be altered, and the yield, reduced (UCS, 2008). This will lead to an even worse economic situation.


To further understand the mechanisms behind climate change as it pertains to Lancaster County’s communities and agricultural sectors, data retrieval and calculations were done. Data was collected from various governmental data bases across the Southcentral Pennsylvania region. Locations are from Lancaster, York, State College, and Harrisburg, to name a few. Variables which data was collected for were temperature (°F), precipitation (in), and river discharge (mil/ ft3/sec) across the years of 2008 to 2020. Conversions were done from °F to °C, into cm, and mil/ft3/sec to mil/m3/day. Mean, min, and max values were calculated across the seasons (Fall: Oct-Dec, Winter: Jan-Mar, Spring: Apr-Jun, and Summer: Jul-Sep) for Table 1. Using Excel, figures were created for Figures 1 through 6. For calculation of significance, Pearson correlations were done using R Studio Cloud. Statistical results were reported in each figure caption.


Table 1. Seasonal data from 2008 and 2020 (Fall: Oct-Dec, Winter: Jan-Mar, Spring: Apr-Jun, and Summer: Jul-Sep). The mean, max and min temperatures, precipitation, and river discharge from these years was compared. Yellow, blue, and grey shadings denote an increase, decrease or no change, respectively.

2008 Fall









Temperature max (°C)









Temperature min (°C)









Mean Temperature (°C)









Precipitation (cm)









River discharge (mil/m^3/day)









 Figure 1: Temperature (°C) compared to precipitation (cm) in Pennsylvania from 2008-2020. Temperature (mean from York and State college) and Precipitation (mean of Lancaster County) were compiled and graphed from reliable sources in (government sites and weather stations). Showing a positive relationship between an increase in temperature and an increase in precipitation.


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IMPACTS of Climate Change

 Figure 2: Temperature (°C) compared to river discharge (m3/day) in Pennsylvania from 2008-2020. Temperature was compiled from reliable sources representing the mean of York and state college temperatures. River discharge data was collected from resources based on mean from the Susquehanna and Conestoga rivers. The data compiled together formed a negative relationship, as the temperature decreased so did the river discharge.

Figure 3: Precipitation (cm) compared to river discharge (m3/day) in Pennsylvania from 2008-2020. River discharge data was collected from resources based on mean from the Susquehanna and Conestoga rivers. Precipitation was compiled from resources based on the mean of Lancaster County. Together the data forms a slightly positive relationship, as the precipitation increases river discharge also increases slightly (t=3.2466, r=0.2531, df = 154, α=0.05, p=0.0014, p<0.05). 

 Figure 4: River discharge (mil/m3/day) and temperature (°C) relationship in southcentral Pennsylvania. The figure is representative of evenly dispersed years from 2008 to 2020. Monthly average data for both river discharge and temperature were collected within this timeline from the USDOI (2008-2020) and USDOC (2008-2020), respectively. A Pearson correlation was done using R Studio, where a negative correlation was observed (t=-3.6357, r=-0.2812, df = 154, α = 0.05, p = 0.00038, p<0.05).

Figure 5: Precipitation (cm) and temperature (°C) relationship over various years in southcentral Pennsylvania. Figure is representative of evenly dispersed years from 2008 to 2020. Monthly average data for precipitation and temperature was collected within this timeline from NOAA (2008-2020) and the USDOI (2008-2020), respectively. A Pearson correlation was done using R-Studio, where a positive correlation was observed (t=4.9132, r = 0.3681, df = 154, α = 0.05, p = 2.269x10-6, p<0.05). 

 Figure 6: River discharge (mil/m3/day) and precipitation (cm) relationship in southcentral Pennsylvania. Figure is representative of evenly dispersed years from 2008 to 2020. Monthly average data for river discharge and precipitation was collected within this timeline from the USDOI (2008-2020) and NOAA (2008-2020), respectively. A Pearson correlation was done using R-studio, where a positive correlation was observed (t=3.2466, r =0.2531, df = 154, α = 0.05, p = 0.0014, p<0.05).

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IMPACTS of Climate Change


During 2008, Pennsylvania towns like State College had around 10 days per year that met or exceeded 32.2°C (90°F); however, as we go further into the century, the number of days at ~90°F will increase to 40 to 65 days per year (UCS, 2008). The rise in heat comes with an elevated need for air conditioning, but these machines do fail over time which could result in physical health risks like heat stroke. This will also affect those living in the lower-class parts of towns and cities. Those who fall into that category may not be able to afford AC or the houses may be super run down that they just let heat in. There are some solutions like the ‘Low-Income Help Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps families pay heating and cooling bills, but this is not always attainable depending on the household level of income. If it is possible to patch or fix up these houses it will better the health of those who live in these conditions, especially getting housing for homeless during extreme heat. With high temperatures growing around and within Lancaster it could result in ground-level ozone smog, which will further put our health at risk for respiratory complications. As the temperatures increase as does the precipitation (Figure 1) which then results in a slightly positive increase in river discharge (Figure 3) as well, bringing it full circle. So, by combating rising temperatures the other two issues can be combatted as well. In Lancaster if we cut down on fossil fuels we can slow/stop the temperatures from continually rising. By planting lots of trees and stopping deforestation then using methods like storing carbon in the soils will be more effective as then the forests and trees will help us fight the change in climate. Lancaster County is known for our many friendly farming families and our vast farming lands, but with climate change on the rise it will also result in some negative effects for cattle and plants. For example, it has been shown that cattle eat less with higher temperatures due to heat stress. By not eating it is unlikely that milk yields will remain the same and will likely decrease, leaving farmers at an economic loss (USEPA, 2017). Crops in Lancaster County, specifically the most prominent one—corn—are unable to mature normally under high heat conditions (UCS, 2008). Much like with milk, this results in a large financial loss for farmers. Table 1 shows that between 2008 and 2020 there has been an increase in summer temperature by 2.25°C, up to 25.19°C from 22.94°C (77.3°F from 73.3°F). Although these Celsius averages fall in the mid- to low- 20’s (mid- to low- 70’s for F), this is just the average and is not taking into consideration the frequency of high heat days for the years of 2008 and 2020 and the years that fall in between. Although this article focuses on the impacts of climate change on Lancaster and Southcentral Pennsylvania, the solutions for it can be applied everywhere. With greenhouse gas emissions being produced globally, the temperatures will only continue to rise. Big business, air travel, commuter travel, and agriculture are all major contributors to this crisis. When these noxious fumes and dangerous molecules are released into the atmosphere, they are then precipitated back down to us. That water then flows through agricultural land and into various waterways which we end up drinking. About 17% of the Susquehanna watershed feeds through agricultural land and 4% of it through developed areas (PACD, n.d.). The water will bring with its pathogens and microbes from those areas. In southcentral PA, our water filtration is in dire need of an upgrade which can incorporate these dangerous contaminants into our drinking water. To reference the infrastructure section, it was stated that within our neighboring counties, about 10 times the acceptable level of E. coli is spilling into our residential water lines (Constible, 2019). Even though the four previously listed contributors to climate change are valuable technologies and a means of food production, they can be manipulated and regulated in ways which would still benefit humans, as well as would prolong the survival of our world. Globally, society has already begun introducing electric alternatives as a means of transportation which can also be implemented into Lancaster to lower emissions which would combat rising temperatures, which in turn will combat the increase in precipitation. These alternatives are by far more sustainable than their alternatives. For those who wish to travel, they can do their part by taking trains, ships, or buses, rather than planes to reach their destinations. Commuter car, bus, and train transportation are much more sustainable long-term. As for agriculture, cattle in many of the larger farms throughout Lancaster can lead to production of methane gas in addition to large amounts of manure. These two compounds could be collected in the form of composting. These farms could lower the amount of methane gas being released by feeding the cattle different diets. For example, carbohydrate rich diets remove H2 away from the methane production resulting in less methane production. Also, new technological advancements have been made regarding biogas composting, and the older technologies of standard composting remain. Incorporating these solutions into current society, would result in lower emissions and give us hope for a more sustainable and much longer future. Watching when to use manure on crops and storage during the growing season will also help combat polluting the very waters we drink. Enforcing rules of how close manure storage can be near environmentally sensitive areas and water will help lower contamination of these areas. Making sure to not spread manure over crops before a heavy rain will stop runoff into our water systems. To be a citizen of Lancaster County, one might feel as if their efforts are insignificant, but if we come together, we can stand strong in lowering the rising temperatures around us. We experience the effects of climate change daily, and we, as well as the future generations, will continue to experience it unless we implement the changes, and enforce those implementations. There are so many small ways we can protect the earth and save the lives we have all built: Plant trees, plant greenery, recycle, compost, change your diet, change your cattle’s diet (if you are a farmer), support small businesses, and do some research when unsure what is best! Since Lancaster County is a relatively close-knit area, make sure to educate and help each other out. Many communities are at risk within this climate crisis, including the place we all call home—our dear earth—so we all must make a collective effort!


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IMPACTS of Climate Change


Bradley, R., Karmalkar, A., & Woods, K. (2015). Observed and projected changes in climate and their impacts. Climate System Research Center at University of Massachusetts Amherst. https://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/stateClimateReports/PA_ClimateReport_CSRC.pdf Constible, J. (2019). Climate change and health in Pennsylvania. Natural Resources Defense Council. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/climate-change-health-impacts-pennsylvania-ib.pdf Jiang, M., Felzer, B. S., Hargreaves, B., & Zhang, J. (2015). Improved understanding of climate change impact to Pennsylvania dairy pasture. Crop Science. 55(2): 939-949. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2014.05.0377 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). (2008-2020). Monthly total precipitation for Lancaster Airport, PA [Monthly Total Precipitation 2008-2020]. NOAA Online Weather Service. https://www.weather.gov/wrh/climate?wfo=ctp Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD). (n.d.). Susquehanna watershed. https://pacd.org/?page_id=1517#facts Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PAEP), IFC, Penn State University (PSU). (2021). Pennsylvania climate impacts assessment 2021. http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/GetDocument? docId=3667348&DocName=PENNSYLVANIA%20CLIMATE%20IMPACTS%20ASSESSMENT%202021.PDF%20%20%3cspan% 20style%3D%22color:green%3b%22%3e%3c/span%3e%20%3cspan%20style%3D%22color: blue%3b%22%3e%28NEW%29%3c/span%3e%204/30/2023 Shortle, J., Abler, D., Blumsack, S., Duncan, J., Fernandez, C., Keller, K., Zarekarizi, M., Nassry, M., Nichols, R., Royer, M., & Wrenn, D. (2020). Pennsylvania climate change impacts assessment update April 2020. https://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/ Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/ClimateChange/2020ClimateChangeImpacts AssessmentUpdate.pdf Smith, K. (2008). An analysis of climate trends in the Susquehanna River basin, Pennsylvania (graduate thesis). Shippensburg University. https://www.ship.edu/globalassets/geo-ess/smith_project_110428.pdf Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS). (2008). Impacts on Agriculture. In Climate change in Pennsylvania: Impacts and solutions for the keystone state (pp.21-27). http://www.jstor.com/stable/resrep00034.10 U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). (2008-2020). Global summary of the month [National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration] State College, PA US and York, PA US: National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). (2017). What climate change means for Pennsylvania. https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/climate-change-pa.pdf United States Department of the Interior (USDOI). (2008-2020). National water information system: Conestoga River [USGS Surface-Water Monthly Statistics for the Nation] Lancaster, PA US: United States Geologic Survey. United States Department of the Interior (USDOI). (2008-2020). National water information system: Susquehanna River [USGS Surface-Water Monthly Statistics for the Nation] Harrisburg, PA US: United States Geologic Survey.

RACHAEL EDWARDS, is an undergraduate biology student with a major concentration in molecular biology and biotechnology. She also minors in biochemistry. Her professional goals consist of eventually getting a master’s degree and making a worthwhile contribution to science. She lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her partner Emily, and their three pets, Dingo, Camry, and Dwight. In her free time, you can find her venturing through various cities, and listening to music or podcasts.

SHEYENNE MCNALLY, is an undergraduate biology student with a concentration in molecular biology and biotechnology. She also minors in chemistry. Her professional goals consist of working in a state-of-the-art research facility and expanding her scientific knowledge overall. She lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her family and her dog, Luna. When she is not immersed in her studies, you can find her spending time with her fiancé, Kassie, and reading or listening to music.

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Millersville University

SAVES THE BEES: Certified Bee Campus

By Lauren Coca ABSTRACT The existence of bees is critical to the health and functioning of the planet; however, with an increasing amount of bees dying, the chance for a sustainable future is at risk. This article examines the ways in which bees impact certain variables, from the pillars of sustainability to overall environmental justice. As environmental justice continues to target marginalized groups, bees’ are affected as well, devastating populations of the most important pollinator. Conversely, this article takes an in-depth look at how Millersville University attempts to conserve bee populations and how other campuses and cities can do the same, as well as what bees mean to the Lancaster County region of Pennsylvania. This article presents a variety of data and research from government entities to non-profit organizations that advocate for pollinator conservation. Resolving issues that are causing bee and pollinator population decline is essential in maintaining a sustainable future and strengthening the environmental justice movement as a whole.

Author’s Note The author of this article is a student of the Department of Geography at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Lauren Coca. E-mail: lscoca@millersville.edu


As climate change and environmental issues continue to threaten the lives of bee populations, Millersville University of Pennsylvania is doing its part to save the bees. Official as of September 2021, Millersville University is now a Certified Bee Campus in Pennsylvania. As a Certified Bee Campus, Millersville University now acts as official grounds for conservation of native pollinators, increasing the amount of native plants, and reducing the usage of pesticides, according to Bee City USA, an initiative of the Xerces Society (2021a). It is crucial to understand why bees are important, not only on an environmental scale but also on an environmental justice scale. From the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA, 2021, para.1): “Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies”. Highlighting the relationship between bees and environmental justice is essential in effective change toward fair and equitable environmental regulations. These changes are possible right here in Lancaster County, with Millersville University acting as a vital stepping stone. Ultimately, showcasing Millersville’s actions toward conserving native pollinators demonstrates how other campuses and Lancaster City can become bee-certified and simultaneously fight for environmental justice.


To start, bees and environmental justice go hand-in-hand; without bees, humans would not be able to survive, as most of our food comes from pollination. Equally important, livelihoods and job security are directly dependent on bees’ mere existence, for agriculture industries are at extreme risk without them. Moreover, bees’ importance comes from the fact that they are the most abundant pollinators compared to other pollinating organisms like insects, birds, and bats. These pollinators not only help us survive but thrive. Without bees, humans lose access to resources like honey and beeswax, which are supplies that help people every day. Honey has many health properties, like providing antioxidants, healing wounds, helping with digestion, and soothing sore throats and coughing fits (Goldman, 2019). Subsequently, beeswax has many different uses, like producing longer lasting wax candles, modeling and casting objects, acting as an ingredient in ointments and lotions, and being a go-to lubricant in various industries (Crane, 2009). Looking at who is disproportionately affected by environmental injustice, those in minority and poorer communities are at the greatest risk, “with infants and children being more impacted than adults by exposure to hazardous environmental conditions” (Ben Crump Law, 2021, para. 2). There are many diseases and health effects that come from hazardous environments, and children are more susceptible to hazardous chemicals and toxins. The hazardous chemicals and toxins that are born from environmental racism and injustice can cause acute effects, like lead poisoning or asthma, and chronic effects, like obesity, diabetes, fertility issues, heart disease, immune deficiencies, and cancer. Air pollution is another significant issue, as companies and factories will often be built in areas near


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SAVE THE BEES: Certified BEE Campus

marginalized groups, people of color, and those with lower socio-economic status. These groups are most affected by the air pollution, and are susceptible to effects of air pollution, like asthma, respiratory problems, heart problems, immune system defects, and lung cancer. Consequently, pollutants will kill bees and affect supply and demand of produce. Prices can become more expensive, and impact marginalized communities’ ability to access food pollinated by bees. Jobs of targeted groups become compromised because as bee populations decline, it threatens the agriculture industry. Acknowledging bees’ importance through their impacts is one of the first steps in managing bee and pollinator conservation and protection. Here are some key takeaways on why bees are not only important to the environment but to environmental justice:


As the most important pollinator, bees pollinating foods helps keep the environment’s biodiversity in check. Bees pollinate the foods that organisms, like animals and insects, cannot live without. The Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association says, “they protect and maintain ecosystems as well as animal and plant species, and contribute to genetic and biotic diversity,” ensuring ecological balance (2018, para. 7). Because other species are highly dependent on bees and their ability to pollinate, bees function as keystone species; if their population declines, food chains and greater ecological balance are disrupted. Bees can also be seen as a harbinger, as their presence can show the ecosystem’s overall health; if bees are present, ecosystems should be thriving, and in their absence, action must be taken.


Pollination’s role in food production is integral, as it is cited that, “One third of the food we eat comes from pollination due to honeybees” (Berenbaum, 2018, p. 134). LeaseHoney, a network for beekeepers, landowners, and farmers, notes in their article, Your Food Wouldn’t Bee Here Without Them: What and When Bees Pollinate, that domestic and imported fruits and vegetables like apples, cranberries, melons, almonds, broccoli, and more produce require pollination (2020, para. 3). LeaseHoney also notes in their article that commercial crops like blueberries and cherries need bees, as they are “90% dependent” on bee pollination (2020, para. 3). As the world’s population continues to grow, more food is necessary to manage global food security, meaning bees are valued now more than ever. With human population increasing and bee population decreasing, food becomes scarcer, causing an increase in produce prices (Payne, 2020, para. 1), affecting overall accessibility. Food insecurity is a heavily linked issue to environmental justice. Ultimately, conserving bee populations ensures that more crops can be readily pollinated, and prices for food can stabilize or even become cheaper.


The agriculture industry is heavily reliant on pollination, as quality pollination ensures a greater crop yield. Produce is an essential source of income and is especially important to smaller farms and farms in developing countries, as noted by the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association from the Republic of Slovenia, a nation dedicated to beekeeping (2018). Considering the overall economy, “pollinators contribute more than $217 billion to the global economy, and $24 billion to the US economy” (Planet Bee, n.d., para. 3). Without bees, not only is there risk of job insecurity and lack of commercially reliant crops, but also the risk of endangering economies across the globe. Looking at bees’ impact on job security, it quickly becomes another environmental justice issue. Farmers are at risk of losing quality crops due to lack of pollination, leading to loss of profit, while larger agriculturally based companies profit off of products that perpetuate the bee population decline. Through bee conservation, bees will ensure pollination of crops, ensuring profits, and maintaining job security.

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SAVE THE BEES: Certified BEE Campus


Specifically, in Lancaster, bees play a crucial role, as Lancaster County has a lot of agriculture. It is cited that “roughly 25% of the county’s entire land area is used as farmland” (Growing Food Connections, n.d., para. 2). Though much of the land is used for dairy and poultry farming, a significant portion of it is used for specialty crop production. The crops will depend heavily on pollination; without bees, Lancaster’s entire agricultural industry would be in jeopardy. Ultimately, bees affect social, economic, and environmental aspects of everyday lives, each element representing a pillar of sustainability. Without their presence, humans’ risk healthy ecosystems, food security, financial security, and job security. Consequently, it is crucial to be aware of what and who is responsible for the decline in bee populations.


In order to tackle the bee population decline, it is crucial to be aware of what is causing their decline so humankind can reduce or eliminate destructive products and actions. Greenpeace, another network of environmental organizations, notes that there are many factors causing bees to die, such as “pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrient [deficiency], air pollution, global warming,” and many other factors (n.d., para. 3). Greenpeace also notes that many of the factors mentioned are intermingled and related to one another and that humans “are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes: pesticides and habitat loss” (n.d., para. 3). Looking specifically at pesticide use, a story from Brazil illustrates that pesticides and insecticides have a significant impact on the bee population. Reporter Daniel Wolfe details how Brazil saw “a 27% increase in pesticide sales” and “roughly 500 million honeybees were found dead,” making it clear that pesticides kill bees (2019, para. 1). Additionally, Greenpeace also notes that biologists have reported over 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen, showcasing the deadly conditions bees have to work through (n.d., para. 8). Solutions to bees dying of pesticides start with decreasing the use of pesticides. One example of this is using an integrated pest management (IPM) system, which does not use chemicals and instead uses a combination of environmentally-friendly control methods to target specific pests. IPM systems are also better for farmers since combinations of pest management mean that pests cannot get used to one type of treatment, promoting long-term, sustainable, and pro-bee pest management. Similar to pesticide usage, habitat loss also contributes to massive bee population decline. As human populations grow larger, there is a greater need for space and land. People need homes, places to work, places to eat, shop, play, and drive. Deforestation makes up a big part of how the world obtains resources and space. There is an economic need for resources, but sustainability and longevity are questioned when many populations, not just bees, start to become threatened, endangered, and extinct from habitat displacement or destruction. Eco-conscious efforts, like sustainable forest stewardship, help ensure that resources are ethically and sustainably obtained while mitigating ecosystem and habitat disruption. Barry Commoner, an ecologist who wrote The Four Laws of Ecology, defines The Fourth Law of Ecology as, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”; the law illustrates how the exploitation of the environment will always come at an ecological cost (Egan, 1971, p. 22). The impact on our greatest pollinators does not make social, economic, or environmental sense, as, without bees, we not only risk our planet’s overall sustainability but survivability as well. Addressing our world’s pesticide usage and mitigating habitat destruction are some of the best ways we can help the bee population stabilize.


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SAVE THE BEES: Certified BEE Campus

Introducing the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: an international non-profit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. They tackle three key issues, implementing pollinator conservation programs, protecting endangered species, and reducing pesticide use to mitigate impact (Xerces Society, 2021b). Certified partners, like campuses and cities, can work with Xerces Society to raise awareness on the importance of bees and other pollinators, while taking action in their area to combat the effects of environmental injustice.


Campuses interested in becoming a Certified Bee Campus have several steps to take to become registered. The criteria from Xerces Society’s Bee City USA (2021a) are: • ESTABLISH A COMMITTEE TO ADVOCATE FOR POLLINATORS: Each campus’ committee will look different, but the ultimate goal is to create a committee comprised of individuals with varying backgrounds and interests that will help advocate for the bees and native pollinators. The committees tend to be comprised of students, faculty, a chair, or multiple co-chairs, where students may “serve as a co-chair along with a faculty or staff member” (Xerces Society, 2021a, para. 4) to maintain continuity. Additionally, it is stipulated that there must be at least one member from the landscaping department present on the committee to be that line of communication between campus and landscaping. Meetings should be held on a regular schedule. • C REATE AND ENHANCE POLLINATOR HABITATS ON CAMPUS: Each year, the campus must create or enhance the current or projected pollinator habitat. Affiliate campuses also create native plant lists and native plant supplier lists for their pollinator habitats. • R EDUCE THE USAGE OF PESTICIDES: Affiliates should work with the campus to create or adopt an integrated pest management (IPM) plan, a more sustainable and environmentally conscious way of handling pest problems, reducing pesticide use, and exploring the use of non-chemical pest management systems. • OFFER COURSES OR EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES THAT INCORPORATE POLLINATOR CONSERVATION: Make an effort to include information about native plants, pollinators, and pollinator conservation into curriculums, courses, and continuing education opportunities. • OFFER SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECTS: Offer projects and related projects that will enhance pollinator habitats on campus. • D ISPLAY SIGNAGE FOCUSED ON POLLINATOR CONSERVATION: Use the pollinator conservation habitats as an educational opportunity to bring awareness to the conservation efforts being made on the campus. They can either be permanent and near the habitat location or temporary, like flyers hung up. Xerces also provides certified affiliates with artwork for the signs and custom logos that can be displayed on campus. • MAINTAIN AN ONLINE PRESENCE FOR YOUR BEE CAMPUS USA ACTIVITIES: Using a university page, college website, and social media, maintain a presence online focused around Bee Campus activities. In addition, share the campus’ native plant list, plant supplier list, and integrated pest management plan. Additionally, interested campuses pay an application fee based on student enrollment, and campuses must annually apply for renewal each year reporting on the previous year’s Bee Campus activities. Although there is a fee, by working with the Xerces Society, campuses are fighting for one of the most critical species in existence and tackling environmental justice issues at the same time.


Looking specifically at Millersville’s impact, the University has taken many steps to become a Certified Bee Campus and further implemented additional measures to support native pollinators. Here are some of the ways that Millersville University has taken action: • P OLLINATOR MEADOW: According to Millersville University’s Entomology Club, the campus has a pollinator meadow that the club tends to. They plan to add more plants and maintain the meadow, providing a habitat for both native plants and native pollinators to inhabit freely. • B UTTERFLY REARING: The Entomology Club also manages a butterfly emergence chamber that raises caterpillars such as monarchs, hornworms, and giant silk moths like luna or polyphemus moths. • INSECT COLLECTIONS: Entomology Club, additionally, has a blacklight setup that they take outside to observe, collect, and monitor different species of insects that are on campus. • B EEKEEPING: Arguably, one of the most critical action items that the Entomology Club does for bee E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2


SAVE THE BEES: Certified BEE Campus

conservation is managing hives on campus. They currently manage four beehives, and they teach members and interested students how to raise bees, collect honey, and understand beehive management. • B UTTERFLY GARDEN AND MONARCH WAYSTATIONS: Across different areas on campus, there are stations for butterflies attracted to native plants, an example being milkweed for monarch butterflies. These native plants act as waystations for native pollinators. • SUNFLOWER PATCH: A student-led initiative created and maintains a sunflower patch on campus for native pollinators, especially bees. • SUSTAINABLE GARDEN PLOTS: Another student-led initiative managed raised beds on campus to grow not only fruits and vegetables but to manage native flowers as well. The garden plot has a variety of flowers like sunflowers and milkweed and features a hummingbird feeder. The hummingbird feeder also functions as a waystation as hummingbirds are a pollinator too. These initiatives and many others allowed Millersville University’s campus to qualify as a Bee Campus. Ashlyn Donaldson took the lead on bringing the project to fruition in her role as Student Government Association’s Sustainability Representative, working closely with Dr. John R. Wallace to get the certification in September of 2021. Even with the campus’ qualifications, there is always more to be done, as illustrated by Bee City USA’s Bee Campus criteria.


Looking specifically at other universities and college campuses in Lancaster County, no other college campuses are affiliates yet; the closest Bee Campus is Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The numbers of affiliates can improve with advertising and raising awareness of the current issues surrounding environmental issues and native pollinators. Millersville University can use its platform to raise awareness. Something interesting about Millersville’s certification was Millersville had already qualified in major areas, like having native pollinator habitats and, as a bonus, having bees on campus. Using an online presence, Millersville can spread to other campuses the criteria to raise awareness on the environmental issues and motivate other colleges who qualify as a Bee Campus with the actions they take on campus already to become an affiliate. Taking a look at Lancaster County in general, not only are there criteria for becoming a Certified Bee Campus, but there is also certification for becoming a Certified Bee City. Not only can a Bee City be recognized for its essential environmental work, but cities also receive a Welcome Package with pollinator conservation resources, access to an online affiliate portal to work with other regional partners, custom logos and street sign artwork, and access to training opportunities, workshops, and webinars related to environmental topics. The criteria for becoming a Bee City are similar to the requirements for becoming a Bee Campus but focuses more heavily on implementing pollinator-conscious policy and planning events to raise awareness (Xerces Society, 2021b, para. 7). Acknowledging that Lancaster County is a city with a lot of agriculture, it is also more important than ever to promote reducing the use of pesticides and instead adopting a form of integrated pest management to prevent the further decline of bee populations. Another point of note is to “Create and enhance pollinator habitat on public and private land by increasing the abundance of native plants and providing nest sites,” promoting action no matter what land type it is (Xerces Society, 2021b, para. 5). These goals are essential to strive for and unite the community in eco-conscious and pollinator-conscious initiatives. Currently, Lancaster County has a Beekeepers Society, which is active. Their purpose is to “gain a better understanding of honeybee biology and behavior, provide public awareness and services, and to promote honey and other products of the hive,” showcasing their commitment to bees and their livelihood (Lancaster County Beekeepers Society, n.d., para. 2). They host monthly meetings and have an up-to-date list of suppliers who sell


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SAVE THE BEES: Certified BEE Campus

bees as well. The Lancaster County Beekeepers Society already has a structure, a committee, and a mission, making the transition to becoming a certified Bee City realistic and attainable.


Bees and other pollinators are vital in addressing the world’s social, economic, and environmental sustainability; keeping food on the table; ensuring job security; and maintaining ecological balance. Equally as important, bees’ survival directly impacts the success and growth of the environmental justice movement. It assures accessibility to inexpensive health produce, and protects jobs of smaller farmers or marginalized workers in agricultural industries. Bees also highly benefit Lancaster County’s agriculture-centric region, which is why their decline should matter to Lancaster. Millersville University has taken the initiative to become a certified Bee Campus in the state of Pennsylvania, which should inspire other Lancaster-based campuses to consider applying as well. Furthermore, through Lancaster County’s current Beekeepers Society, Lancaster can transition its current bee-centric group into a standing Bee City USA committee to further advocate for pollinators and their well-being. Ultimately, the relationship between Lancaster County, bees, and other native pollinators has a lot of room for improvement. However, the steps for conservation are realistic for any city and are essential when considering the bees’ and native pollinators’ critical impact on a sustainable future, as well as the fair treatment and involvement of everyone, regardless of their racial, ethnic, or socio-economic background.


Ben Crump Law. (2021, January 16). Who is affected by environmental injustice? | Environmental justice lawyers. https://bencrump.com/environmental-justice-lawywer/who-is-affected-by-environmental-injustice/ Berenbaum, M. (2018). Reality bites. American Entomologist, 64(3), 134–137. https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/tmy044 Commoner, B., & Egan, M. (1971). The closing circle: Nature, man, and technology (Reprint ed.). Dover Publications. Crane, E. (2009). Bee products. Encyclopedia of Insects, 71–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-374144-8.00020-5 Goldman, R. (2019, November 15). The top 6 raw honey benefits. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/top-raw-honey-benefits Greenpeace. (n.d.). Save the Bees. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees/ Growing Food Connections. (n.d.). Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. https://growingfoodconnections.org/ comminnovat/lessons-from-an-agricultural-preservation-leader/ Lancaster County Beekeepers Society. (n.d.). Lancaster County Beekeepers Society – Lancaster, Pennsylvania. http://www.lancasterbeekeepers.org/ Payne, E. (2020). Bees and hunger: A link we can’t ignore. Beyond Toxics. https://www.beyondtoxics.org/blog/2018/11/bees-and-hunger/ Planet Bee Foundation. (n.d.). We Need Bees. https://www.planetbee.org/why-we-need-bees Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association. (2018). The importance of bees. World Bee Day. https://www.worldbeeday.org/en/about/the-importance-of-bees.html United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). (2021, September 22). Learn about environmental justice. https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/learn-about-environmental-justice Wolfe, D. (2019, August 22). Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations. Quartz. https://qz.com/1691619/bees-are-dying-by-the-millions-in-brazil-and-pesticides-are-to-blame/ Xerces Society. (2021a). Bee campus USA commitments. Bee City USA. https://beecityusa.org/bee-campus-usa-commitments/ Xerces Society. (2021b). Bee city USA commitments. Bee City USA. https://beecityusa.org/bee-city-usa-commitments/ Your food wouldn’t bee here without them: What and when bees pollinate. (2020, September 1). LeaseHoney. https://leasehoney.com/2020/09/01/your-food-wouldnt-bee-here-without-them-what-and-when-bees-pollinate/

LAUREN COCA was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and traveled around the globe with her military family. She currently lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and “Millersville University Saves the Bees” is her first published work. Growing up near the ocean, she was fascinated by marine life and animals, leading to her passion for environmental work. As a student at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, she is majoring in Environmental and Spatial Sciences. Her major provides a greater understanding of the science and policy needed to protect the planet. Lauren works hard to bring environmental activism to Millersville’s Student Government Association, working previously as their Sustainability Representative and now as their Vice President.

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“Two Sides of the Same Coin”

Homelessness as Environmental Injustice By Dawn M. Watson, Dr. Jennifer Frank, and Jenna Graeff ABSTRACT Social justice is predicated upon ensuring that everyone’s basic needs are met within a society. Comprehensive examinations of environmental injustice must highlight the relationship between people, public spaces, and natural resources. Vulnerable populations such as the unsheltered homeless are at particular risk for environmental injustice, as they often lack autonomy within the spaces they inhabit and often lack access to resources to meet basic needs within those spaces. Environmental justice in housing hinges on the ability of the community to provide safe and affordable housing options for all of its members. Any mismatch between the available housing stock and homelessness represents an environment which lacks justice. In Lancaster city, unsheltered homelessness has been an ongoing problem in particular areas, leaving our most marginalized citizens at risk. Here, we examine the relationship between homelessness and environmental justice, discussing the consequences of hostile architecture, criminalization, and gentrification, as well as a discussion of some promising approaches to attend to this need.

Social justice is predicated upon ensuring that everyone’s basic needs are met within a society. Specifically, environmental justice examines the relationship between people, public spaces, and natural resources. It considers the ways in which some groups are disproportionately affected by negative impacts on the environments where they live. Awareness of these injustices has become more mainstream in recent years and calls to action have increased such as the following from Pope Francis (2021): The environmental and social crisis are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, strategies for resolving them demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded and at the same time protecting nature. #EndPoverty Vulnerable populations, such as the unsheltered homeless, are at particular risk for environmental injustice, as they often lack autonomy around the spaces they inhabit and access to resources within those spaces. Individuals who are unsheltered are not afforded the same basic human rights as those who have shelter (Karger & Stoesz, 2018; Larkin et al., 2019; National Alliance to End Homelessness [NAEH], 2016). At its essence, homelessness is an artifact of environmental injustice in our society. In Lancaster city, unsheltered homelessness has been an ongoing problem in particular areas, leaving our most marginalized citizens at risk. These environmental risks have increased significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with disease mitigation efforts complicating the living environments of the unsheltered homeless. This paper examines the relationship between homelessness and environmental justice, discusses some of the consequences of leaving this issue unattended, and shares implications around promising approaches to address it.


Homelessness in the United States At its core, homelessness is about social injustice: a disconnect between person and place. The words used to describe this condition have changed over time, but always infer some type of disconnect between a person and the environment around them. For example, prior to the Great Depression when the word “homeless” was rarely used, words like “tramp” and “hobo” indicated a person’s disconnection from home, community, and stability. Transients at this time were often “on the road” in search of temporary work (Kusmer, 2002; Andersen & Park, 1923). Disaffiliation was at the essence of these ideas, indicating a mismatch between a person and their physical and social environments (Bahr, 1970). As social service organizations developed different programs intended to address homelessness as a novel social problem, more recent definitions of the problem have more to do with program eligibility (Baumohl, 1996). With the McKinney Act of 1987 and more recently its re-authorization in the HEARTH Act (2009), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines literal homelessness as: “an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence,” which could be someone who is living in a shelter, or a “place not meant for human habitation,” or exiting an institution such as a hospital or prison (2021b, p. 1) . This definition is squarely focused upon its utility as an eligibility determination mechanism which fails to adequately describe the bigger picture of the social and environmental injustice the absence of “home” really entails. ¹For the purpose of various federal programs spread across multiple agencies, homelessness may be categorized by the following criteria: The 2009 Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 describes a) people living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter or transitional housing or exiting an institution; b) people losing their nighttime residence within 14


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days who are without resources to remain in housing c) families with children or youth under age 24 who are unstably housed; and d) people attempting to escape domestic violence who lack resources to obtain housing (§896). The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reflects these categories but also includes additional time-related qualifiers to define a chronically homeless individual as someone who a) is disabled; b) lives in a place not meant for human habitation/a shelter/an institution; and c) has lived in this way for a total of at least 12 months or on four or more instances over 3 years for a total of at least 12 months (HUD, 2015).

Annually, HUD coordinates a one-day count of homeless people in the United States to attempt to capture the prevalence of this issue using this definition. The Annual Homelessness Report to Congress (AHAR) describes the demographics comprising the homeless population. The homeless population is a heterogenous group including men, women, families, and children (HUD 2021a; NAEH, 2020). While many might erroneously assume that the homeless are primarily adult males, children and families are also a constant presence in homeless shelters (NAEH, 2020). In January 2020, 580,466 people were identified as homeless in the United States (HUD, 2021a). Approximately 60% of the homeless population resides in shelters, whereas about 40% is unsheltered (HUD, 2021a). Those residing in shelters or transitional housing experience homelessness hidden from public view. Unsheltered homeless people live visibly in public spaces, camping in streets and sleeping on park benches and other places not necessarily designed for human habitation, where they are vulnerable.


Both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness occur in every state in the US (NAEH, 2021; HUD, 2021a). While it is most visible in large urban areas, the issue also exists in suburban and rural areas, including Lancaster County. Lancaster County homelessness data indicates that homelessness in this area has fluctuated over the years (HUD, 2021a). Some of these fluctuations might have to do with increased systemization and coordination around the documentation of homelessness cases (Frank & Baumohl, 2021). Table 1: Homelessness Counts in Lancaster City/County (COC 510) YEAR















Although these numbers might seem low in comparison to reports of homelessness in urban centers, it is important to note that even a single instance of homelessness is a serious social and environmental injustice. The people of Lancaster know this well and attending to the needs of the homeless in Lancaster dates back decades. These helping patterns might relate to traditions in connecting faith and community, as many organizations that attend to homelessness as a standalone social problem have religious roots. For example, the Water Street Rescue Mission (WRSM) has been meeting the needs of the homeless since the turn of the century (1905) and cites religious faith as a core value (WSRM, 2021). Other well-known programs have religious origins or deeply religious stakeholders. Following suit, current concern for the needs of the homeless abound. Homelessness, particularly unsheltered homelessness in the area of Binns Park in downtown Lancaster city, has caused concern among citizens and stakeholders. While some of these stakeholders could be categorized as compassionate stakeholders (e.g. agency personnel), others could be observed as agitated stakeholders (e.g. disgruntled business owners). In September of 2020, local news sources in Lancaster County discussed the noticeable increase in folks living and congregating in the Binn’s Park and downtown areas of Lancaster city. Stakeholders became concerned about the situation, due to an increase of folks sleeping outside. This caused an increase of predatory drug activity, resulting more calls to law enforcement and EMS (Stuhldreher, 2020).


Environmental Injustice

The persistence of homelessness, specifically unsheltered homelessness in Lancaster, exposes the vulnerabilities within a community that does seek to care about the most marginalized. Myriad contexts including the lack of affordable housing contributes to unjust environmental conditions, where those on the street are unable to meet their basic needs. The disaffiliation that visible, unsheltered homelessness represents, indicates a failure of the community to address these environmental justice concerns successfully. Living on the street without shelter exposes people to many environmental risks such as disease (pandemic), violence, weather, and stress (Larkin et al., 2019). Individuals experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable, and as a result bear a disproportionate share of the consequences of environmental injustice (Council on Social Work Education [CSWE], 2015). As noted by CSWE:


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Environmental justice occurs when all people equally experience high levels of environmental protection and no group or community is excluded from the environmental policy decision-making process, nor is affected by a disproportionate impact from environmental hazards (CSWE, 2015, p. 20). People may become homeless for many reasons, but at its core, homelessness occurs when housing is unavailable due to escalating cost, lack of affordable housing, or environmental justice issues. Many households experience homelessness as a result of a combination of natural disasters and lackluster disaster mitigation and recovery planning. As with a plethora of social ills, risks fall disproportionately upon people of color; homelessness and environmental injustice are no different. For example, minority neighborhoods suffer inordinately during natural disasters, which are exacerbated by infrastructure mismanagement — the prime example in the US is Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (Bullard, 2008). Cities like Flint, Michigan do not have access to safe drinking water (Henderson & Wells, 2021). Minority neighborhoods are three times more likely to be in proximity to environmental hazards such as landfills, garbage incinerators, and sewage treatment facilities (Henderson &Wells, 2021). Governments commit environmental injustice when they unequally distribute protection from these hazards (Benz, 2019). The concepts of “interlocking oppressions” (Collins, 1990, p. 277) as well as “cumulative disadvantage” (Merton, 1988 p. 613) play a role in perpetuating the environmental injustice of homelessness among people of color.


Health Risks

People experiencing housing instability and homelessness have unmet needs regarding access to water and sanitation, due to their unsafe living situations. Those in unsheltered locations may have no access to these facilities whatsoever and must resort to open defecation, which is dehumanizing for the individual and creates public health concerns (Capone et al., 2018). Some communities provide resources, such as handwashing stations or portable restrooms. In some instances, however, these public amenities are removed in order to eliminate loitering in these spaces (Chellew, 2019). To prevent the spread of pathogenic diseases, such as Covid-19, handwashing stations were temporarily added to areas in Lancaster City (Lancaster Online, 2020). However, after the initial “lockdown” period ended, many of these stations were removed from public spaces, leaving unsheltered people without a place to complete hygiene tasks recommended to limit the spread of Covid-19. Beyond the bodily functions of daily living, the unsheltered homeless are unlikely to have access to routine health services. As a result, chronic health conditions go untreated and create a burden on emergency medical services. For example, a homeless person is three times more likely than a housed person to utilize the emergency department for routine care (Franco et al., 2021). Without adequate support to participate in necessary follow-up care, this cycle repeats. The unsheltered homeless are also especially vulnerable to weather-related injury or death, particularly hypothermia (Aykanian & Fogel, 2019). Prior to the vaccine rollout in mid-2021, a Covid-19 infection carried a 30% higher risk of death for a person experiencing homelessness compared to the overall population (Leifheit et al., 2021). Further, individuals experiencing homelessness are at a significantly increased risk of co-occurring issues with substance abuse and mental health disorders (Larkin et al., 2019).


Criminalization refers to the prosecution of homeless individuals as a means to manage the public issue and represents environmental injustice. Efforts to address homelessness using the police often result in criminalizing activities of daily living (Larkin et al., 2019). Laws prohibiting sleeping in public, panhandling , and directing police to destroy homeless encampments/belongings are common methods utilized by local governments to inadvertently punish people experiencing homelessness (Kieschnick, 2018; Larkin et al., 2019). The unsheltered homeless are more likely to be victims of violent crimes, and chronic homelessness is associated with a drastically shortened life expectancy (Larkin et al., 2019). A criminal record has a tremendous negative impact on eligibility and access to the employment and social services, which supports stable housing for individuals and families. Criminal charges for nuisance offenses, like loitering and public intoxication, compound existing difficulties for the unsheltered homeless residing in public view. Incarceration or monetary fines leveraged against these individuals does not contribute toward remediating their condition, but are tools frequently accessed by law enforcement and municipal systems (Kieschnick, 2018). In Lancaster city, the police are frequently the first resource able to respond to a complaint or emergency involving an unsheltered person. Mayoral Chief of Staff Jess King noted that there is a divide between the aid offered by the city (police) and that of the county (human service interventions such as shelters, treatment, and outreach programs) (Walker, 2020b).


Defensive urban design is the deliberate manipulation of the “[...] built environment to guide or restrict behavior in urban space as a form of crime prevention, protection of property, or order maintenance” and “defend against unwanted use” (Chellew, 2019, p. 21). This hostile architecture targets individuals who utilize public space for the activities of daily living, such as a bench designed with strategically placed bars eliminating the possibility for sleep. Although the bench still performs its basic function of seating, its full range of utility has been restricted to ²Panhandling is the act of asking strangers for food or money in a public space.

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purposefully discourage certain behaviors. Other examples include outdoor trash receptacles, which are locked to prevent people from picking (either for recyclable materials to sell or in some cases, discarded food), increased presence of security cameras, and harsh nighttime lighting (Rosenberger, 2020). An obvious example of hostile architecture is the fixture generally referred to as “anti-homeless spikes”; these are recessed in doorways until nighttime when they are raised to prevent unsheltered individuals from sleeping in that space. Rosenberger (2020) notes that hostile design often combines with laws punishing public behaviors of the unhoused to further compound the problem by driving targeted individuals from these spaces entirely; this solution hides, but does not resolve, the problem. The unsheltered homeless are thus excluded, by design, from green spaces and public parks as a result of these inequitable practices.


Provide a Place for Belongings

Unsheltered individuals face extreme barriers to meeting their simplest and most basic needs (Walker, 2020a). One example of such a barrier is the lack of a safe, secure location to store belongings. Individuals without access to safe storage risk loss of belongings by theft, confiscation, damage from exposure to the elements, or deliberate destruction when an area is cleared in a sanctioned “sweep.” When this occurs, valuable identifying documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, or other forms of government issued paperwork can be lost, creating an additional barrier when these documents are required to obtain employment, assistance, and other services. Additionally, some municipalities have enacted laws targeting the storage of belongings in public places, thereby criminalizing the basic need for storage (Aykanian & Fogel, 2019). Providing spaces for homeless individuals to safely store valuables and their belongings prevents such losses and eliminates one source of conflict between unsheltered people and law enforcement.

Provide for Discrete Hygiene Basic hygiene and similar activities of daily living are completed in the privacy of one’s own home, where all necessary resources are easily accessible. When living in public spaces, unsheltered individuals are often forced to engage in these activities out in the open. In addition to a lack of privacy, the facilities needed for hygiene tasks may be scattered around cities in various, decentralized locations. People are forced to spend much of their time in search of public restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities to meet their most basic needs.


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Centralized drop-in shelters and mobile services programs provide ease of accessibility in meeting a person’s basic needs where they are and can return ample time and dignity back to homeless individuals (Aykanian & Fogel, 2019). In October 2021, Lancaster County’s Homeless Coalition, now known as LanCo MyHome, unveiled the result of recent efforts to address the need for mobile dignity and health services in our local community. Refresh Lancaster is a mobile shower unit, that is outfitted with two private showers and a private medical office. It is fully staffed four days per week and is equipped to provide compassionate care to anyone in need throughout Lancaster County (Gamble, 2021). Refresh Lancaster has the potential to foster connections to necessary resources and allows for the opportunity for individuals to develop trusting relationships with service providers (Stuhldreher, 2021b, Gamble, 2021).

Promote Food Programs Food banks and soup kitchens are a widely used resource for individuals experiencing homelessness; however, patrons of these services report accessibility or location of such providers as having a critical impact on their utilization (Barile et al., 2020). Even when central locations for food distribution exist, many cities restrict food-sharing activities via ordinances, which target programs serving vulnerable homeless and food insecure people (Rosenblum, 2019). These ordinances have been challenged in federal appeals court, which has upheld the right of outdoor food relief as protected by the First Amendment (Southern Legal Counsel, 2021). The Lancaster Community Meal Program (2021) organizes free daily meals for community members in Lancaster City. Not all are accessible to congregants, some of whom would have to walk a considerable distance for a meal. At times, Lancaster city has discouraged food distributions in public areas by independent groups, citing food safety regulations (Stuhldreher, 2021a).


Curb Gentrification

According to Palen and London (1984), displacement of low-income neighborhood residents is the main problem that occurs during the gentrification process . Failure to address gentrification results in a lack of available units to meet the needs of the lowest income individuals in a community; this contributes to environments that become hostile to its poorest members (Lukić, 2011). The process of displacement through gentrification contributes to homelessness by decreasing the availability of units affordable to the lowest income renters. As cities gentrify, risks of homelessness increase along with the divide between lower and upper classes (Lang, 1982). ³As housing prices increase, housing that was once affordable to low-income residents is sold at a profit, redeveloped, or “flipped”, and then re-sold to new owners for additional profit. This benefits real estate developers at the expense of preserving neighborhoods, where many people have lived out their entire lives.

The increased economic investment occurring in Lancaster city draws newcomers from around the country, making gentrification a local concern (Klibanoff, 2015). While visible homelessness could be perceived as an unwelcomed experience by new residents, it is important to ensure that the needs of the homeless are addressed and not displaced.

Housing First Housing First (HF) is an approach to address homelessness that immediately centers housing as the primary intervention. As unsheltered individuals are identified by outreach workers, they are immediately connected with case management support and moved directly into permanent housing, thus ending their homelessness (NAEH, 2020). While HF began as an experimental program of Pathways Housing in New York, serving chronically homeless individuals, it has been widely disseminated for use in both urban and rural locations and with all types of homeless households, including in Lancaster (Tsembris et al., 2012; Hawkes, 2015). Research has indicated that applying housing as a first approach, rather than the tiered model of “housing readiness”, is more likely to end homelessness quickly and permanently (Gulcur et al., 2007). Further, studies have shown lower rates of substance abuse issues and homelessness recidivism as a result of the HF approach (Tsemberis et al., 2012). Organizations that advocate on behalf of the homeless have endorsed the use of HF (NAEH, 2021). Prioritizing the transition into housing also prioritizes the development of ontological security, the “sense of constancy in one’s social and material environment” (Giddens, 1991, p. 243), which creates the basis for identity development and self-actualization (Padgett et al., 2015). Simply put, when the basic human need of housing is met, individuals are more likely to be prepared to address their extant needs regarding their physical and mental health, family relationships, and reclaim a place in larger society. To properly attend to homelessness in Lancaster, efforts can be made to support new HF programs and bolster existing HF programs. Adequate funding for an HF model would include the ability of programs to subsidize the rental costs for people in the program and provide support for voluntary case management associated with it. However, HF does not work without housing stock. Properly applying HF to communities, like Lancaster, requires having affordable housing which homeless individuals can occupy. That is, Lancaster needs to garner a more adequate supply of housing that is affordable to the lowest income renters.

Affordable Housing The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) (2019) calls for an increase in federal budgets for affordable housing as one of their essential housing priorities. Similarly, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (2016) notes that access to housing through rapid rehousing approaches (a facet of Housing First practice) is critical, as

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is the addition of good jobs and wages that keep pace with housing costs (Merrefield, 2021). Solutions to address homelessness must be coordinated within and across systems. Specifically, a significant disconnect exists between the price of housing in Lancaster, the median income of city and county residents, and the availability of affordable housing. With a median income of $45,514 and a poverty rate of 23.9% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019), the lowest income residents of Lancaster city still have very few options for finding housing that matches their income and does not cause them financial burden. Currently, definitions of “affordable” vary widely. Locally, one resource indicated that units of affordable housing would be developed, citing that the indicator for affordability would be 80% of the median income for the county of Lancaster. Incomes considered for these apartments could not be above $52,800 (Mekeel, 2021). It is highly unlikely that households residing directly in the geographic location of this project would benefit from this specific income criteria. This and similar affordable housing projects may run the risk of failing to meet the needs of a community’s current low-income residents and could exacerbate displacement. Rents have risen, while incomes for the lowest earners have not; in addition, the supply of affordable housing and rental assistance has not increased at the pace needed to meet these current demands (NLIHC, 2019). This economic shift has resulted in increased numbers of people at risk of becoming homeless and unsheltered. This injustice is placing a greater number of Lancaster community members at risk of exposure to adverse environmental events.

Conclusion and Implications Promoting equitable treatment includes ensuring all people are protected from exposure to adverse environmental impacts. The person-in-environment framework offers perspective to better understand and enhance human functioning (Kondrat, 2013). A person cannot be extracted from their environment; conversely, there are myriad ways that they are intrinsically connected to it and influenced by it. Individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness are disconnected from a sense of place, stability, and an environment that appropriately nourishes their wellbeing. Unsheltered homelessness represents an environmental justice failure in that both the people and the environment are neglected, and efforts to attend to the needs of this population are fragmented as a result (Cornell, 2006). For a person experiencing homelessness, “place” has a collapsed meaning when all the functions of daily living occur in a shelter or a city park (Littman, 2021). Socially just environments must create a sense of belonging and opportunities to create and perform the functions of daily living in a predictable manner (Akesson et al., 2017). Environmental justice in housing hinges on the ability of the community to provide safe and affordable housing options for all of its members. Any mismatch between the available housing stock and homelessness represents an environment which lacks environmental justice. There are many ways injustice can be addressed, such as making injustice more tolerable (by providing storage lockers and food programs for the unsheltered homeless in our communities), but the strongest response to homelessness is to eliminate it by treating housing as a human right and structuring our policies and programs accordingly. Simply put, people cannot reach their human potential without safe and adequate housing that is affordable to them. As a result, a community focus must be made to ensure housing is affordable for even the lowest income citizens.


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J., & London, B. (1984). Gentrification, displacement and neighborhood revitalization. State University of New York Press. Rosenberger, R. (2020). On hostile design: Theoretical and empirical prospects. Urban Studies (Sage Publications, Ltd.), 57(4), 883–893. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019853778 Rosenblum, S. (2019). Homeless and hungry: Demanding the right to share food. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 46(4), 1004–1040. Stuhldreher, T. (2020, September 22). Request by homeless leads to Binns Park cleaning. One United Lancaster. https://oneunitedlancaster.com/coronavirus-news-roundup/request-by-homeless-leads-to-binns-park-cleaning/ Stuhldreher, T. (2021a, July 30). City woman insists on her right to feed the homeless. One United Lancaster. https://tinyurl.com/s2kp3jca Stuhldreher, T. (2021b, September 22). Delayed by pandemic, homeless coalition’s shower trailer expected to debut in October. One United Lancaster. https://tinyurl.com/y84p4ytu


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Southern Legal Counsel. (2021 Sept 1). Federal appeals court rules against Fort Lauderdale in first amendment case. https://tinyurl.com/aa5wm2c5 Tsemberis S., Douglas K., Respress C. (2012). Housing stability and recovery among chronically homeless persons with co-occurring disorders in Washington DC. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), 13-16. United States Census Bureau. (2019). U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Lancaster city, Pennsylvania. https://tinyurl.com/435kwt6t United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2015). Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH): Defining chronically homeless final rule. HUD Exchange. https://tinyurl.com/3dmcauja United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2020) HUD 2020 continuum of care homeless assistance programs homeless populations and subpopulations. https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/ CoC_PopSub_NatlTerrDC_2020.pdf United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2021a). The 2020 annual homeless assessment report ( AHAR) to Congress. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/2020-AHAR-Part-1.pdf United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2021b). Homeless definition. https://tinyurl.com/2p885edx Walker, A. (2020a, October 14). Theo Henderson’s podcast influences L.A. City Policy. For 7 years, he’s lived mostly in the park. Curbed. https://tinyurl.com/36a3xrye Walker, C. (2020b, September 6). New coalition of human services, government hopes to serve Binns Park homeless community. Lancaster Online. https://tinyurl.com/p9433ejz Water Street Mission. (2021, February 17). Our story - Water Street Mission serving Lancaster, PA. Water Street Mission. https://wsm.org/who-we-are/our-story/

DAWN M. WATSON is a second year MSW student at Millersville University in the School of Social Work. Her professional experience includes 14 years of child welfare and public assistance program administration in both direct service and policy application roles for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is a student research assistant for the Millersville University Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, with a focus on community engagement projects. Additional research on the topic of unsheltered homelessness was presented with Ms. Graeff at Made in Millersville in Spring 2021. She presented research on social connection at the National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter Conference in October 2021, as a member of a group of dedicated researchers led by Dr. Frank. Dawn hopes to use an advanced degree in Social Work to effectively advocate for change on behalf of underserved populations in public welfare policy. DR. JENNIFER FRANK is an assistant professor in the Millersville University School of Social Work. Jennifer holds a Ph.D in Social Work from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. A licensed social worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, her research, teaching, and practice interests are in poverty and homelessness. Her current research foci include human connection, poverty perceptions, basic needs, and social action. She recently presented her work on social isolation with Dr. Granruth on our local NPR program, Smart Talk. Dr. Frank is a research fellow with the Millersville University Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change. She is active in the community as a founding member and board vice president of the Loft Community Partnership. Dr. Frank is also a board member of the HUB, which operates the Campus Cupboard and Campus Closet offering food and clothing for college students in need. JENNA GRAEFF is a part-time MSW student in her final year at Millersville University in the School of Social Work. She has over 10 years of local, professional experience working with youth and families within the public education system with a focus in public education services, policy practice, grant writing, project management and graduate-level academic research. In her final year at Millersville, she serves as a research assistant with the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, the project manager for the ongoing SoWe community survey, and is completing her field experience in a blended format with LanCo MyHome and Solanco School District’s school social worker. Jenna has presented the team’s research on Unsheltered Homelessness in Lancaster at last year’s Made In Millersville conference, and will continue her work on the People & Places project with Dr. Frank and Ms. Watson, which seeks to examine and better understand the complexity of networks impacting the Binns Park area and Lancaster’s Downtown Investment District. E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2



in the Susquehanna Watershed and the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act By Taylor Knecht ABSTRACT

The Pennsylvania Water Resource Act, or Senate Bill 868, was introduced to the PA Senate in September 2021. This new piece of legislation outlines a water fee that would be set on companies after taking more than the extraordinary water use of 10,000 gallons per day. While this piece of legislation does some good like cleaning up water sources within Pennsylvania, it could also cause some problems, like causing centralized pollution in certain areas of the state. Weighing the beneficial outcomes against the adverse outcomes can show that this bill will do more good for the environment and state of Pennsylvania than bad. This is further solidified by comparing the bill to a federal body, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, who has been helping maintain the Susquehanna River Basin since 1970 with the same tactics the bill is using.

About three percent of Earth’s water is freshwater, and of that, only about 1.2 percent is actually accessible to humans (National Geographic Society, n.d.). These statistics are very well known, but it can be hard to fully accept and understand this fact. Because there is so little freshwater available, the human species must be careful with how much we use and how we return what water is left after its use. This can be even more apparent when living in a place like Lancaster County. Being in the Susquehanna Watershed and sharing our western border with the Susquehanna River, we have a direct connection. This reminds us how important it is to not only make sure that our water is clean, but that it is being used in a sustainable way. One way to protect our water is through legislation. An item that was just introduced to the Senate back in September 2021 was Senate Bill No. 868, or the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act, as it would be called if accepted (SB868, 2021). This bill was first introduced to the House back in 2016 by Lancaster County’s representative Mike Sturla as House Bill No. 2114 (Legiscan, 2016). Bill 868 uses a water limit with a tax incentive to help reduce Pennsylvania’s water pollution and overuse environmental justice problem. Key ideas explored in this essay are the state of Pennsylvania’s current problem with water pollution and overuse, what Bill 868 would do if put into law, and whether Bill 868 would be effective in reducing the water pollution and water overuse environmental justice problem. This bill has an interesting approach to the water overuse and pollution problem, and it is something that is worth taking a look at while investigating water overuse and pollution in the Susquehanna Watershed.


Before looking at Bill 868, it is beneficial to understand where the Susquehanna Watershed is right now in regard to water overuse, which helps keep water pollution in check. The Susquehanna Watershed already has a governing body that oversees water use and pollution in the form of the federal-interstate body known as the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, n.d.a). As a short history, the Susquehanna River Basin Compact was signed by the federal government as well as Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland on Christmas Eve of 1970. This led to the establishment of the Commission on January 23 of the following year who would help to uphold the Compact (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, n.d.a). The Commission has several missions and goals, but the ones that focus directly on water use are as follows: they promise “[t]o be responsive to water resource management needs of the Commission’s signatory members. . . coordinate management of interstate water resources and serve as an effective forum for resolution of water resource issues and controversies within the Basin. . . be a leader in issues concerning the conservation, utilization, allocation, development, and management of water resources within the Susquehanna River Basin. . . provide public information and education about the water resources of the Basin” (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, n.d.a, para. 7). There is a lot of talk about management, but their missions and goals do not specify what that management entails. Their regulations go into much more detail about what management actually looks like. Any consumer that withdrawals exactly or more than 100,000 gallons per day (or gpd as it will be referred to from here on out) on average, including for consumptive use, for a period of 30 days (or a month) is subject to regulation. For just consumptive use, which is considered to be any water that is not returned to the Susquehanna Water Basin, any consumer that withdrawals exactly or more than 20,000 gpd on average for a period of 30 days is also subject to regulation (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, n.d.b). Any and all water diversion is subject to regulation and must be approved. In addition, any withdraw used for natural gas is also subject to regulation; it does not matter how much (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, n.d.b). The Commission’s management is making sure that the Susquehanna River’s water is being used in a sustainable way. This also helps make sure that not too much pollution is returned with the huge amounts of water that were taken out. If this is the case and the Susquehanna Watershed is already protected from water overuse, then there seems to be no point in considering Bill 868 for the watershed. However, the Susquehanna Watershed is not the only watershed in the state


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and other watersheds might not be as protected. Bill 868 could help monitor the counties within those watersheds and make sure they are also taking water sustainably. Bill 868, if enacted, will still affect the Susquehanna Watershed, as seen later in this paper. It could also affect what the Susquehanna River Basin Commission does already and that is something that the government will have to figure out how to deal with if or when the time comes. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission also helps clean water pollution. Pollution in the watershed is a big problem, which means there is some more information that should be discussed. About thirty percent of Pennsylvania’s rivers are polluted from sources like agriculture (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, n.d.). Phosphorus and nitrogen are found in large sources within the Susquehanna River with sixty and eighty-five percent, respectively, of them being linked to non-point source pollution (StormwaterPA, n.d.). Non-point source pollution, defined by the EPA, is pollution that is spread out over a wide area and does not have one central spot that it originates from (United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S EPA), 2021a). There is also sediment from old mill dams from colonial times, discharge from coal mines, as well as other toxins that have found their way into the Susquehanna River. Pennsylvania also has not been doing a great job of taking care of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. They are supposed to pay money into cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; however, Pennsylvania is currently $324 million behind. This means that whatever projects need that money are not able to currently operate, or at least operate as efficiently as they would be able to if they did have that money. It has gotten so bad that several states, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and District of Columbia, have now sued the U.S. EPA for allowing Pennsylvania to have fallen so short (Argento, 2021). Water pollution negatively affects a lot of people, especially in Lancaster County, but it happens a lot to those living in rural settings with their own well systems. Around three million people in Pennsylvania have their own well systems. The problem is that these systems do not have any state regulations to make sure that the water within them is safe. All of the upkeep of the well falls on the homeowner, including making sure that their water is not being affected by outside sources. Lead was found to be in well systems that had groundwater that was soft and/or acidic. More nitrates were found in well systems closer to agriculture fields (Swistock et al., 2009). Agricultural runoff is the biggest source of pollution in Lancaster County, meaning that well systems around agricultural areas are at much higher risk of having more nitrates in their system (Crable, 2020). Pollution control in the Susquehanna River and the Susquehanna Watershed is sorely lacking in Pennsylvania. For the sake of efficiency, only the current bill that is in the Senate will be investigated. Both the one in 2016 and this current one are relatively similar, just with some minor changes. It is also important to recognize that this is not the first piece of legislation to be concerned with water use and water pollution. While the others are just as crucial, this paper is more concerned with the one currently being weighed within the Pennsylvania government. The best place to start for Bill 868, or the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act, is what exactly this bill will do to protect the watershed. One thing this bill talks about is extraordinary water use to explain when fees should be applied and when the water actually has to be regulated. Extraordinary water use is the limit of water that can be taken from the natural environment before there would be a fee attached. For this bill, the extraordinary water use falls at withdrawing 10,000 gpd (SB868, 2021). This is extremely lower than what the Susquehanna River Basin Commission defines as extraordi-


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nary, with this set limit being ten times less than the withdrawal rate of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The first thing that an extraordinary water user must do is to register the use with the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth. Most of it is just information about the user, but four key points of information about the water use are needed: “The name, location and acreage of the lands or other application for which the water is to be withdrawn. . . . The amount, in gallons, of water withdrawn on an average day of operation during the preceding year and the number of days during the preceding year when water was withdrawn. . . . The total amount, in gallons, of water estimated to be withdrawn and the periods of time when the withdrawal is scheduled during the current year. . . . The location, means and expected condition of any returned water” (SB868, 2021, p. 4). These four requirements are super important to this bill. As stated before, any water uses over 10,000 gpd will end up with a fee attached to it and these fees can change depending on the situation. This is where it can get a bit complicated between consumption and withdraw, and a tad monotonous. However, this is useful information for deciding whether Bill 868 can actually help with the water pollution and overuse problem. For withdrawing and returning all of the water, there will be a fee of “$0.0001 per gallon for water withdrawals greater than 10,000 gallons per day” (SB868, 2021, p. 5). For water that is withdrawn and then consumed, so it cannot be returned, incurs a fee of “$0.001 per gallon for water consumption greater than 10,000 gallons per day” (SB868, 2021, p. 5). The amount of consumed water can be calculated two different ways, based on whether the consumer measures the water use with a meter or not. If it is metered, the amount consumed would be calculated by using this equation: water withdrawn per day – water returned per day. If the water is not metered, the amount consumed would be based off of the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth’s consumptive use amounts, since it cannot actually be calculated precisely (SB868, 2021). However, this does not include those consumers that would be quantified as an electricity generator. For them, they would have a fee of $1.00 per megawatt hour both made and sold (SB868, 2021). And probably the most important distinction in this part of the bill is calculating the fees based on other fees. This part considers that some users already pay some fees to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission as well as the Delaware River Basin Commission. Any fees that are owed to either or both of those commissions are deducted from the total before the users have to pay the state (SB868, 2021). This bill would also create the Water Use Fund. All of the money that would be collected from the fees would then be collected into the fund and then redistributed out to different departments to help with projects specifically related to water (SB868, 2021). Several different state departments get a certain amount per year from the fund to put toward their project(s). The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth would get $30,000,000, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources would get $25,000,000, the Department of Agriculture would get $11,000,000, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission would get $5,000,000. Any extra money will then be distributed to service the watersheds or to help with any bonds that will be discussed next (SB868, 2021). The last part of the bill allows for the government to take on a debt of up to $3,000,000,000 to protect and conserve water habitats and can be put into other projects that are water related. This would be presented to the elected officials once a year and they will be able to take out a certain amount of money or to decline it (SB868, 2021).


Bill 868, while it incorporates the Susquehanna River Basin Compact, it seems to also take over what it does in some respects. While Bill 868 is decent on its own, when it starts to overlap with the Susquehanna River Basin Compact it might become a bit hazy. Comparing them both where they overlap can help distinguish if the bill could help more than the Compact does in those specific areas. Again, while the bill covers more than just the Susquehanna River Basin Compact and should be considered for outside the Susquehanna River Basin, it might not be the best course of action for the area.


The most glaring difference between the two are what constitute extraordinary water use. While the Commission separates both withdraw and withdraw and consume, the bill makes no distinction between the two when it comes to the limit, as seen before (SB868, 2021). While the bill leaves a flat rate of 10,000 gpd, the Commission’s limit for simply withdrawing is ten times that (100,000 gpd) and withdraw and consumption is twice as much (20,000 gpd), both seen previously (SB868, 2021). The Susquehanna River Basin Commission ends up requiring much more than the blanket rate of the bill, which means that the bill will end up regulating and charging more businesses than the Commission would. The question is whether it is actually necessary to regulate that small of an amount compared to what the Commission has calculated and if it will be beneficial. Since agricultural runoff, as stated before, is one of the biggest sources of pollution in Lancaster County, it would make sense to regulate at this amount (Crable, 2020). One thing that is interesting about Senate Bill 868 and its predecessor, House Bill 2114, is that House Bill 2114 excludes water use for agricultural reasons from the tax (HB2114, 2015). Bill 868 includes these agricultural uses so, hopefully, agricultural runoff’s affect is lessened (SB868, 2021). For context, one person tends to use 80-100 gallons of water per day (Water Science School, 2019). Even at the maximum, the water use limit described in Bill 868 is 100 times more than one person uses in a day. This is understandable. Common sense says that any company would use much more water in a day than one person would. The other thing to take into consideration is that all the water used may not all be consumed. There is water that is withdrawn and then returned. After its return, the water would then have pollutants in it. Even if it is just a small amount of pollution per gallon of water, that would still be over 10,000 gallons of polluted water being returned into a water body. The Susquehanna is already struggling with how much pollution is already in it because it is within a E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2


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state that is not taking care of it very well currently. While 10,000 gallons might seem small for a business, it might be needed because of the Susquehanna’s current state.


There are two different approaches that policies will take when it comes to trying to lessen the amount of pollution that is put in the water. One approach is the command-and-control approach. With command-and-control, regulation makes it that polluters are only allowed to give off a set amount of emissions; no more, no less. They must drop their emissions by that amount and a government official continuously checks on the company to make sure that they are following the guidelines and keeping emissions down exactly as they are told (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2021b). With market-based incentives, the idea is to regulate emissions the same way that command-and-control does, but the companies can figure out how they want to get their emissions down. There are several ways that market-based incentives can be incorporated through permits, taxes, subsidies, and tax-subsidy combinations. This way is a lot less hands-on government-wise and gives more flexibility to the companies. It also incentivizes them to find better ways to get emissions down and to get them as low as the company can get them because they can end up saving or gaining more money (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2021b). With permits, companies that have lower emissions can sell some of their permits to other companies that have higher emissions and need more permits to allow them to pollute that much. Taxes make companies pay money for certain amounts of pollution determined by the regulation. So, if companies are able to pollute less, they will not have to pay as much in taxes. Subsidies give companies money as they reduce their emissions. This means that companies have the chance to drop their emissions and get some compensation out of it. Tax-subsidy is pretty much the same thing, but the companies must pay money to the government first, and then they will get money back as their emissions drop (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2021b). Market-based incentives have some downsides to it as well. The biggest con is that pollution can become centralized. Sometimes it can be easier for companies to pay to continue polluting than it would be to actually find a way to pollute less. This could lead to certain poorer areas having more pollution. Companies in those areas will find it easier to pay fees or buy permits from other companies. This is what can lead to that centralized pollution (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2021b). In Bill 868, the idea of a water use fee is considered a market-based incentive. Specifically, it would fall under a tax, as the companies have to pay the government for going over the water use limit. The idea behind the market-based incentive, as mentioned, is that there has to be an incentive for the companies to want to drop their emissions, or, in this case, to use less water. Companies need to think in terms of money, so calculating how much they would be spending a year would help here. Assume that the company is going to be withdrawing water for consumption use and this company only wants to pay to the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act. They can go as far up as 100,000 gpd without having to deal with the Susquehanna River Basin Committee (Remember that if a company goes above the Susquehanna River Basin Committee water use limit, the Committee would get their money first, and then that total would be deducted from the overall total and whatever is left would go to the state (SB868, 2021)). Let’s assume that they will take all 100,000 gpd of that. This company can take the first 10,000 for free, but then will have to pay $0.001 for each gallon after that, as stated before, which would be 90,000 gpd. For one day, 90,000 gpd would cost $90. Since the gpd calculation takes a thirty-day period, that thirty days will also be used for this. For a month, it would cost the company $2,700. Finally, for a year, it would cost the company $32,400. Now, while this kind of money might be a lot for one person, for bigger companies it is more of just a drop in a swimming pool. This kind of money seems like it would only affect small businesses, but that would only be if they would use 100,000 gpd, which does not seem overly likely. The market-based incentives are not the best way to control pollution because of its ability to cause even more environmental justice issues via the aforementioned centralized pollution it can cause. However, with the small amount of gallons per day that the bill allows before the tax, it seems like the most viable option. Command and control, while better for environmental justice, would be overkill because of the 10,000 gpd limit.


The Water Use Fund is the part of the bill that takes all of the money that was paid to the state and distributes it throughout the departments for their water projects, as stated before (SB868, 2021). This is a decent idea, especially since Pennsylvania has not been great at keeping up with the cleaning of the watershed (Argento, 2021). This could help Pennsylvania get caught up in that aspect. With the kind of money they are looking at giving to each of the departments, a good number of projects could run within the departments. The state probably will not be able to catch up for several years, but this would be a good push in the correct direction to get back on track. It also guarantees that any extra money inside the Water Use Fund will go straight to the watershed or to help with the debt that could be incurred from taking money to protect the water (SB868, 2021).


Bill 868, or the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act, seems to be a decent piece of legislation. It would help get money to improve the state of Pennsylvania’s water habitats while trying to reduce pollutants that can get in the water. While it is almost redundant, and might be a bit harsh, when it comes to water overuse, pollution within the Susquehanna River and the watershed is definitely very concerning. The way that they have outlined the Water Use Fund is very


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good. The only concern there might be is that the fund will not get the amount of money that they are projecting that it will. When promising millions of dollars to several departments with that fund, it is a very valid concern. One thing added to the bill that is a bit odd is the market-based incentive strategy that they are trying to employ, though there is not any perfect strategy, just ones that might work better than others. A market-based incentive approach seems like the best approach, it just could use some more work. For instance, making the tax higher for each gallon could help reduce that centralized pollution talked about before. For Lancaster County, it needs to hold up when compared to the Susquehanna River Basin Compact. While the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act is relatively the same as the Susquehanna River Basin Compact, the big difference is the water use limit before it has to be regulated. The fact of the matter is that it depends on which is more important: money going to the state or money going to the federal government. The Pennsylvania Water Resource Act’s money goes to the state where it will be used on water projects within the state. With the Susquehanna River Basin Compact, its money goes to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which, as stated before, is a federal body that includes New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The money would be spread out between the three states to fund water projects within the Susquehanna River Basin, and it will be spread out to help the water habitats within all three states (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, n.d.a). The Pennsylvania Water Resource Act would probably be best, because some of the money still goes back to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission when companies pay, but whatever else is owed would go to the state and would be spread out across the state (SB868, 2021). In this writer’s opinion, the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act should be passed. There are some things that need extra work, but this Act still seems to be a good step forward to helping reduce water pollution and overuse. With Lancaster’s agricultural runoff problem, this could help the waterways and groundwater recover, although slowly, from the agricultural lands within it while not putting as much pollution back in anymore (Crable 2020).


Argento, M. (2021, February 03). Pa’s polluted Susquehanna River is poisoning the bay. What can be done. York Daily Record. https://www.ydr.com/in-depth/news/2021/02/02/pennsylvania-polluted-susquehanna-river-poisoningchesapeake-bay-what-can-done/3766011001/ Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (n.d.). The Susquehanna River. https://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/more-than-just-the-bay/ susquehanna-river/index.html Crable, A. (2020, September 22). Report: Third of PA waterways impaired. Bay Journal. https://www.bayjournal.com/news/ pollution/report-third-of-pa-waterways-impaired/article_e49334c2-d1cd-11ea-a9da-abf33a98e4d8.html HB2114, General Assembly, 2015 Reg. Sess. (PA 2015). https://legiscan.com/PA/bill/HB2114/2015 National Geographic Society. (n.d.). Rivers and Streams. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/topics/resource-libraryrivers-and-streams/?q=&page=1&per_page=25 SB868, General Assembly, 2021 Reg. Sess. (PA 2021). https://legiscan.com/PA/bill/SB868/2021 StormwaterPA. (n.d.). Susquehanna river: How healthy is Susquehanna River? http://www.stormwaterpa.org/ cumberland-susquehanna-river-health.html Susquehanna River Basin Commission. (n.d.a). About us. https://www.srbc.net/about/about-us/ Susquehanna River Basin Commission. (n.d.b). Regulations. https://www.srbc.net/regulatory/regulations/ Swistock, B.R., Clemens, S., & Sharpe, W.E. (2009). Drinking water quality in rural Pennsylvania and the effect of management practices. Center for Rural Pennsylvania. https://www.rural.pa.gov/publications/archived-reports United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2021a, July 8). Basic information about nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. https://www.epa.gov/nps/basic-information-about-nonpoint-source-nps-pollution United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2021b, September 29). Economic incentives. https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/economic-incentives Water Science School. (2019, June 20). Water Q&A: How much water do I use at home each day? United States Geological Survey. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-qa-how-much-water-do-i-use-homeeach-day?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

TAYLOR KNECHT is currently a senior at Millersville University. He is majoring in Geography with a concentration in Geospatial Applications and minoring in Computer Science. He found his interest in geography from a course in community college that introduced him to how interesting and versatile a major in the field would be. He has also been interested in environmental science for most of his life, taking several classes in high school and college. Taylor participated in three stream cleanups during his time in school and helped lead one of them in Spring 2021. Taylor also enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends

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Our Key to a Healthy World

It All Starts HERE By Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck ABSTRACT The Susquehanna River is one of the most endangered rivers in the nation. Although there are multiple contributing factors, all of them are caused by human choices and behavior. It is challenging for us to not be paralyzed when seeking to address the negative human effects on our environment. But, learning from the wisdom of the Dalai Lama, perhaps we can make our efforts more tangible and closer to home. We can focus on changing our behaviors to clean up our own backyard, the Susquehanna River watershed, which provides life for so many of us. We depend on water for life. Human beings can certainly do more than destroy our environment. We can rise above the fear, apathy and greed that keep us paralyzed. We can move toward creating a better future for our planet by creating a better future for the greatest water source in our community, the Susquehanna River.

The reality of the climate crisis we are entering today can be overwhelming and paralyzing. As in many situations where we feel helpless to change a “bad” out-there-in-the- world, we respond by avoiding, ignoring, denying, and downplaying the reality. I am trying to take a different approach. Let’s start with what we know. Humanity has quickened the destruction of the earth and the earth’s atmosphere with our excessiveness. We could call it our greed and arrogance; that’s how I think of it. But I know that humanity is so much more than greedy and arrogant. I heard the Dalai Lama speak once at Rutgers University. When talking about how to create world peace, he smiled his jolly and often mislabeled “simple” smile and said “It starts here,” pointing to his own chest. He went on to explain that creating peace out there in the world begins with me creating peace in my own person. And then me taking that peace into every relationship I have. Peace within me. Peace between me and each individual “Other.” And from that peace, a world of peace grows. I’ve come to see my place of working on environmental justice in a similar way. I often feel so helpless and unsure of how little ole me could affect any kind of change in the larger system that privileges the already privileged. So, let’s begin where we are. If I want to make a difference, I can start with my own choices, then move to my own backyard, and trust that if enough of us make these conscious efforts, the world will change. I’ll suggest for myself, and for you reading this, that our clear focus should be on our relationship to the Susquehanna River watershed. The health of the planet depends on the health of its fresh waterways, because all things that live need healthy, clean water. Our Susquehanna River is the 3rd most endangered river in the nation (American Rivers, 2016). If we Lancastrians and Pennsylvanians began to pay attention to cleaning up the Susquehanna River, and any waterway in our own backyard (which is inevitably a tributary to the Susquehanna), we would take a huge step in moving forward in the necessary regenerative restoration of our natural world. One of my favorite farmer writers, Wendell Berry (2005), reminds us, ur destructiveness has not been, and is not, inevitable. People who use that excuse are morally incompetent, they O are cowardly, and they are lazy. Humans don’t have to live by destroying the sources of their life. People can change; they can learn to do better. All of us, regardless of party, can be moved by love of our land to rise above the greed and contempt of our land’s exploiters. (p.30)


I grew up along the Tucquan Creek in southern Lancaster County, just a couple of miles upstream from the Susquehanna River. As I was making my way through my pre-teen and teenage years, my dad led the family project of building an addition onto the cabin/house he’d bought in 1972, more than doubling the size of the original structure. He was ambitious and capable. The outside of the house is covered in stones- all picked out of the Tucquan Creek by my sister and I and laid into the wall by my father, who was a self-taught mason. We used the earth around us as it was available, without concern for how our behaviors might be destructive to our natural environment. My dad also did much of the work on his business vehicles like changing the oil, sparking plugs, and rebuilding the engines. When I was younger, we would take the old truck engine oil and pour it onto the rocks in our stoned driveway to provide adhesion to hold the stones together on the steeped slope. Dozens of gallons of used oil were spilt over the years. After I left for college, my dad started collecting the old oil and disposing of it through garages that “recycled” it in a safer way. You see that steep driveway led right to the Tucquan Creek, and much of that oil eventually ended up in the creek over the years. At some point, my dad realized he was damaging the life of the creek and changed his behavior.


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What my dad taught me was to become more aware of my own connections to earth. He taught me the importance of changing my behavior, as my awareness and education informed me of what was damaging to the environment. I share these stories because it is really important for each of us to think of the changes we’ve seen in our relationship to the environment in our lifetimes. It is necessary for us to pay attention to how we feel about the natural world around us, and why. This information will inform us as we move forward in hopefully productive ways to preserve, protect, and appreciate the natural world of this planet, which provides life for all things that live, including human beings. I wonder what stories you have. What memories from your lifetime come to mind about how you contributed to sustaining the beauty of the earth in your backyard? And the ways in which you have contributed to destroying it? I ask these questions not for us to be paralyzed by shame or put off by unwanted self-awareness. Rather, because I really believe that we need to see the truth of who we are, and how we live in the world if we are going to change. We need to honor the trajectory we have chosen to travel, even in our own lifetimes. Let us work to be aware of the interconnectedness of all living things, and how what we do affects the lives of others. I know of no other way for humanity to get to the realization that we need to have a more respectful relationship with the natural world.


What does our relationship to the natural world look like on a larger scale? Certainly, personal choices matter, but we also need to sometimes take a step back and get a big picture view of the health of our planet. Because as much as our personal choices might make a difference, the system in which we live influences what choices are even available to us. One thing I have come to realize is that those in power, whom we thought should help us protect and preserve our natural world, often don’t; they often control our options. Climate Power Education Fund (2021) posts on an almost daily basis of environmental tragedies around the nation. Their “Climate Report” for October 27, 2021, had words like this: “Major nor’easter hit the Eastern Seaboard with heavy rain…. 600,000 homes without power…. Severe storms made their way across Oklahoma…” (Climate Power Education Fund, 2021, para.1). What we see is increasing severe and volatile weather, which has left in its wake damage and death disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable and oppressed of our society. The inevitable changes in the natural world around us, which will continue, are going to negatively affect the most marginalized in our communities, unless we change our behaviors (And also change the faces of those making decisions governing who gets help, and who gets left in the flooded gutter). Let’s bring it a little closer to home. In February of this year, the York Daily Record journalist Mike Argento wrote an article entitled “PA’s Polluted Susquehanna River is Poisoning the Bay. What can be done?” He lists some of the contributors to the pollution of the Susquehanna River: • Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farms and development throughout the watershed endangers natural habitats.


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• Sediment drifts downstream from the thousands of Colonial-era mill dams constructed on just about every stream in the watershed. • Discharge from long-abandoned coal mines in the northeast and northwest corners of the watershed flows into creeks, turning them red, like open wounds. • Sediment contains toxic bacteria flowing from outdated, inefficient wastewater treatment plants and farm fields fertilized with animal manure. • Pharmaceutical compounds that escape filtration from wastewater treatment plants remain suspended in the water. (sec.2) Many of these named issues connect to each of us in some way. We live off the food farmers grow. Our choices affect how they do their farming. Many of us are connected to public sewage. Our awareness of the health of those treatment facilities may affect how they are run.


Argento (2021) didn’t address all threats to the life of Susquehanna. Hydraulic fracturing is a process by which the fossil fuel industry extracts oil and gas from the depths of the earth’s surface by drilling down 1+ miles and then drills horizontally. A cocktail of undisclosed chemicals (industry secrets) is used in the process, along with millions of gallons of fresh water (2-6 million gallons per well). Besides this consumptive use of fresh water, the toxic wastewater created from the process is stored in containment ponds in perpetuity (from which it inevitably leaks) or is injected into empty wells; it has been proven to seep into ground water, as well as be the direct cause of seismic activity (Science Daily, 2015). The Public Herald reported in 2019, “Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has allowed radioactive material from fracking waste to be discharged into [the Susquehanna] River through sewage facilities upstream …as far back as the fracking boom (2009 or longer)” (Pribanic & Wiener, 2019, para.4). Fracking, the world over, has certainly padded the pockets of fossil fuel industry muckity-mucks, but it has only prolonged the avoidance of moving toward renewable energies. In the process, it has increased destruction and pollution of our natural world, using and toxifying millions of gallons of fresh water, and perpetuating the destruction of the ozone with the consistent and constant release of methane.


Again, right here close to home, we have seen a rise in the number of factory farms. Anecdotally, I can name at least five locations within a 5-mile radius of my home in Martic Township, southern Lancaster County, where chicken farms have gone in over the past 15 years. Each farm houses close to 125,000 chickens (Miller, 2020). Rachel McDevitt (2020) with State Impact reported that “The Environmental Integrity Project’s (EIP) analysis estimates that about 1 million more pounds of nitrogen pollution are entering the Chesapeake Bay (often through the Susquehanna River) each year from the poultry industry than state and federal cleanup programs estimate” (para.2). Partially this is due to the lax monitoring on the behalf of the regulatory agencies. Our local, manageable farms that raise animals to sell locally, seems a thing of the past. The number of farmers continues to decrease, while the size of farms producing animals for meat keeps increasing, perpetuating the concentration of manure that must be disposed of. Ben Lilliston (2019) reported in EcoWatch, “Emissions related to manure management rose 66 percent since 1990. The EPA reported, ‘The majority of this increase is due to swine and dairy cow manure, where emissions increased 29 and 134 percent, respectively” (para.6). Just last month Food and Water Watch won a victory in a suit against CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) in Idaho, with the hope of setting a precedent for the rest of the country (Heinzen, 2021). The Environmental Protection Agency (the national equivalent to our PADEP), had created so many loopholes for the CAFO industry to navigate around the intent of the Clean Water Act, passed in 1948. The factory farm industry had been given a pass on the monitoring of their pollution to waterways across the country. This case may have closed that loophole. Now the factory farms will be required to officially monitor and report on the pollution they put into waterways. Will it be enough? Or will the regulatory agencies fail us by finding ways for the industry to still not be held accountable? We could write to our legislator and let them know how we feel about factory farms. We could also buy our meats from local merchants rather than the grocery store, where almost all the meat we buy is from CAFOs.


Just in case you missed it before, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)- that state government run regulatory agency given the task of … yes… protecting the environment -has allowed fracking wastewater to be discharged into the Susquehanna River. In addition, the DEP also issues all permits for each fracked well, and for the toxic wastewater ponds and injection wells around the state. The DEP does not protect the environment from many destructive activities the way we all expect and want them to. They are more about authorizing and permitting the industry’s work, while adding a price tag to any destruction, which is often paid back to the DEP. Just last summer, State Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro found the DEP was “greatly lacking” in doing its due diligence. The community of Grant Township, Indian County, PA was sued by the DEP in 2015 because they had passed a local government Home Rule Charter protecting them from injection wells (Nicholson, 2020). Pennsylvania Gas and Electric (PGE) had received a permit from the DEP to inject toxic fracking waste fluids into an existing, empty well, thus jeopardizing the freshwater aquifer serving the whole community. Eventually, after years of fighting in the court, and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of work on the part of lawyers, the DEP, in a surprising decision, withdrew its permit for the well, saying that the local law was a law they could not break. That sounds like a win, I know, but the E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2


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judge overseeing the case tried to get the lawyer defending the township disbarred. The judge levied a $52k fine on him, saying he was wasting the time of the court, because the gas industry was following the law. Not all communities have the money, support, or hope to fight the DEP. The results of this case are unprecedented. Still, there is case after case across the state proving that the DEP usually sides with large corporations, rather than local communities. It is a good thing we have regulatory agencies, but they do too little to protect the environment, as well as too little to protect those of us negatively affected by the destruction of that environment. Truth be told, it is sometimes because they are controlled by elected officials influenced by the industries, they are given the task of regulating. Elected officials should help us, but they are inevitably influenced by lobbyists and donors, and that is particularly the case for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.


I will start, unfortunately, by reminding us all that for the 6th year in a row Pennsylvania ranks in the top 10 as having the most corrupt legislative body in the nation by Forbes (McCarthy, 2020). For example, Dana Drugmand (2020) reported, the DEP had agreed to sign on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in an effort to slash emissions and move forward in protecting the environment in Pennsylvania (and for the greater world). Drugmand writes, “Both the GOP-led House and Senate in the state recently passed bills that would prohibit Pennsylvania from joining RGGI, and legislative committees have held a series of anti-RGGI hearings featuring testimony from climate deniers” (para.5). Lest you think that the Republicans are all against protecting the environment and Democrats are all for it, remember that our own governor, Tom Wolf has done little to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable (Ostroff, 2021). We are finding that the determining factor is more about how many people in office, regardless of their party, are benefiting (financially or otherwise) from the large corporations that are destroying the environment. Money has power. Money keeps legislators in office and buys their loyalties in passing laws that protect their investments, regardless of the amount of destruction to the environment.


We come back full circle to where we started. Little ole me (or little ole you), trying to change the world for the better. For the oppressed majority. For the masses. For the Susquehanna River and all her tributaries. For our own backyard. How do we get started? I will suggest there are a few starting points for all of us. Let’s revisit the words of the Dalai Lama by starting “here” (pointing to one’s own chest). It starts in our own hearts. We need to start by caring. We need to start by listening. Let’s remember that the earth around us- the soil, the air, the water- is what gives us all life. Let’s commit to building our relationship with the earth around us–to getting outside and getting our hands or our feet in the dirt, or in one of the tributaries of the Susquehanna River (because if there is a waterway in your backyard it connects to the River). Let’s cultivate gratitude. We can become more aware. Seeing the life. Seeing the pollution. Seeing the world as it is. Our lives depend on fresh water. How are we affecting the health of water around us? And then, let us act. One action we can take is to VOTE. Our legislators are put in office by us; they should represent us. Let’s use our voices on election day. Your voice matters. If we ALL show up, we will make a difference. Try voting for people not parties. Let’s be more involved. Attend local township, city, or borough meetings. Maybe even run for office. We need you. Let’s learn the zoning rules of our county, our municipality. Be aware of the exemptions given to large projects that exploit the majority of the people, and lower our quality of life. Someone in your township is making decisions about zoning & construction (and the building of factory farms). Maybe that person should be you. Or someone who represents your concerns. Attend protests, actions, and marches in mass numbers. Participate in the kind of civil disobedience that gave women the right to vote and moved our country during the Civil Rights Movement. In our country’s history, often unethical laws don’t change without non-violent civil disobedience. How can you be a part of good, necessary change in that way? And yes, buy things with less packaging, when we can. Buy things locally, not shipped, when we can. As much as possible, let’s make responsible decisions in our everyday choices. Don’t support the factory farms that harm us if we can avoid them. I know there is a lot of privilege in people even being able to make these choices. But as much as possible- start in your own heart. Make decisions that are in alignment with your convictions. Allow your convictions to be based on facts. On research and knowledge. Be grateful for the earth around you. Find your people- those who think like you. Bond with them. Work with them for change. We have more power in numbers. Be gracious to yourself when you can’t make all the changes you want to make at once. Pay homage to the Susquehanna River, and all her tributaries that give so many of us in PA life and enjoyment. Remember that we are community. None of us lives in this world without our actions affecting one another. We are community and need to begin acting less selfishly. I believe, as Wendell Berry (2005) reminded us, “Humans don’t have to live by destroying the sources of their life. People can change; they can learn to do better. All of us, regardless of party, can be moved by love of our land to rise above the greed and contempt of our land’s exploiters” (p.30). Let us rise.


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American Rivers. (2016, April 13). Susquehanna river named #3 “most endangered.” https://www.americanrivers.org/conservation-resource/susquehanna-river-named-third-endangered/ Argento, M. (2021, February 2). PA’s polluted Susquehanna River is poisoning the bay. What can be done? York Daily Record. https://www.ydr.com/in-depth/news/2021/02/02/pennsylvania-polluted-susquehanna-riverpoisoning-chesapeake-bay-what-can-done/3766011001/ Berry, W. (2005). The way of ignorance. Shoemaker & Hoard. Climate Power Education Fund. (2021, October 27). Climate impact report-10/27. https://climatepowered.us/climate-impact-report-10-27/ Drugmand, D. (2020, September 19). Fossil fuel industry and Koch network fighting Pennsylvania’s move to join regional greenhouse gas initiative. NationofChange. https://www.nationofchange.org/2020/09/19/fossil-fuel-industry-and-koch-networkfighting-pennsylvanias-move-to-join-regional-greenhouse-gas-initiative/ Heinzen, T. (2021, October 6). We just scored a big win against factory farm pollution. Food & Water Watch. https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/2021/10/06/we-just-scored-a-big-win-against-factory-farm-water-pollution/ Lilliston, B. (2019, April 1). Latest agricultural emissions data show rise in factory farms. EcoWatch. https://www.ecowatch.com/rise-of-factory-farms-2633387679.html McCarthy, N. (2020, February 19). The most corrupt states in America [Infographic]. Forbes. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2020/02/19/the-most-corrupt-states-in-america-infographic/?sh=1aa1723d2101 McDevitt, R. (2020, May 1). Report finds poultry farming sends more pollution to Chesapeake Bay than previously thought. State Impact, Pennsylvania. https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2020/05/01/report-finds-poultry-farmingsends-more-pollution-to-chesapeake-bay-than-previously-thought/ Miller, A. (2020, July 30). Lancaster County farm fire leaves 42,000 chickens dead. PhillyVoice. https://www.phillyvoice.com/lancaster-county-farm-fire-chickens-damage-/ Nicholson, C. (2020, March 25). Breaking: Grant township forces Pennsylvania to revoke injection well permit. Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. https://celdf.org/2020/03/breaking-grant-township-forcespennsylvania-to-revoke-injection-well-permit/ Ostroff, M. (2021, September 29). Governor Wolf has an oil and gas problem. [Online blog post]. Earthworks. https://earthworks.org/blog/governor-wolf-has-an-oil-and-gas-problem/ Pribanic, J. & Wiener, T. (2019, August 7). Pennsylvania is discharging radioactive fracking waste into rivers as landfill Leachate, impacting the Chesapeake Bay & Ohio river watersheds. Public Herald. https://publicherald.org/pennsylvania-is-dischargingradioactive-fracking-waste-into-rivers-as-landfill-leachate-impacting-the-chesapeake-bay-ohio-river-watersheds/ Science Daily. (2015, June 18). U.S mid-continent seismicity linked to high-rate injection wells. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150618145901.htm

MALINDA HARNISH CLATTERBUCK is a therapist, educator, community organizer, and spiritual leader. She lives with her family in rural southern Lancaster County, where she grew up. Throughout her adult life, she has lived and worked on an Indian Reservation in Montana, worked in Higher Education in Washington DC, served as youth director and counselor at multiple churches, taught high school, college and pre- school. Her passion for justice and compassion has embodied her work in each of these settings. In the past ten years she has become more aware of the injustices surrounding corporate overreach in our country on so many levels (environment, education, health care, criminal justice). Her work centers on changing the balance of power from the powerful elite over the masses to a more equitable community for all people.

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TREE CARVING A Graffiti That Speaks on Justice By Leah Freeman ABSTRACT This essay explores the confrontation of a simple college course assignment and follows the steps that had been taken to reach the overall insights revealed about tree carvings as a possible outlet for revealing the words of the unspoken or silenced. Through formulating a research question, or hypothesis of what would be found from such research, and then going about researching it, the final insights discovered were far from originally expected. While at first notice of carvings on a tree within the Freedom Memorial Park in Millersville Pennsylvania, a mile from Millersville University, it was assumed the journey to be embarked was one about the danger this practice poses on trees. Research revealed that this was not as big a problem, but also that tree carving, as a form of rural graffiti, may play a larger role than anyone would expect from it. Just as graffiti is used as a way to voice political opinions and express oneself, tree carving as a form a graffiti may also do so. This then turns the discussion from an issue of harming trees to an issue of enforcing legislation and laws against tree defacement, but in doing so also examining why some of the carvings may be made, if they have a deeper political or righteous meaning, and what this meaning may mean to the justice of all people.

Author’s Note Thank you to my professor who had assigned this project, Justin Mando, during my Senior semester ENGL 466, Writing Studies Seminar: Environmental Writing. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Leah P. Freeman at leahparis10@gmail.com Inspired by a project for my class where my professor of my Writing Studies Seminar: Environmental Writing requested we spend five thirty-minute intervals meditating and focusing on my surroundings in an area of nature—a scenic area, a park, etc. In choosing to fulfill this assignment at the Freedom Memorial Park that is only a mile from Millersville University, where I attend school, and that is a place I had never visited before. Throughout this practice of meditation and focusing on the nature around me that I usually overlooked during my rushed daily responsibilities, I was supposed to put my newfound knowledge from the course on environmental problems into use and find something that that I could possibly fight to improve in my chosen environment. In spending time in this little park, I didn’t notice much at first. The obvious environmental and public problems such as littering and people not cleaning up their dog’s waste were completely absent. Honestly, the place looked as if it was respected and well taken care of, although this could be because it was small and I had never seen many other people there, even when driving by, except for one or two outliers. Over time, I learned to appreciate the relaxing, isolated, and comfortable environment the park provided that I would have never gained if I had never been assigned to visit such a place for a course. This peaceful serenity had its catch—it had no environmental issue to confront. The more times I visited, the closer I looked at my surroundings. I stopped looking for “problems,” and change my mindset to just noticing things. First, I noticed squirrels, which were obviously always there, but seemingly overlooked by me. Then, there were mushrooms—something I did not expect to find in a park as they are termed a fungi—which were more beautiful than I ever would have expected anything referred to as a fungus to be. Finally, my inspiration hit from one of the lone trees in the park and saw unnatural carvings of letters and shapes. When I saw this, it was like a sense of immediate relief set upon me in relation to my grade—I thought to myself, Yes! I found an environmental issue! However, my journey through the topic of tree carving was not going to be as simple as I had predicted.


In parks and many other public areas where trees are apparent, you will commonly find images and symbols carved into the tree, usually near the base where the average person and child could reach. Common things that people carve into trees are initials, hearts, and the date of visit to such area. In national parks, doing such is illegal under the laws against vandalization. Within the borough of Millersville, according to general legislation, one can get sentenced to imprisonment if not paying a $600 fee, including costs of damage, for “defacement, injury and destruction of public property.” This includes destruction of even “grass” and “shrub” within “any public property of the Borough of Millersville, or of any authority created by the Borough, within or without the Borough.” Defacement may include “the making of graffiti or other markings” (Millersville Borough, 2021). Specific to the Freedom Memorial Park itself, listed in its rules and regulations is that “No person in attendance at a park” may “Injure, deface, remove, cut or damage


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any of the trees” (Millersville Borough, 2017). So, yes, carving into trees, and also sidewalks, and even possibly stepping on a flower in the parks beautiful garden arrangement at its entranceway, is illegal and against the park’s specific regulations.


This is the part of my research where the topic diverged from what was expected. While here and there one can come across an article saying that carving into trees may open it up to infection, as any wound on a person might, this is not as common as one may think as trees have proven themselves to be resilient. For example, some trees take hundreds of years to reach maturity, and as we can see outside our own windows anywhere, many make it. Others, such as the Bristlecone pine, or Pinus aristate, can live for more than 3000 years, even in stressful conditions (Franklin et al., 1987). Carving into a tree may not be the most generous way to appreciate one’s time visiting a tourist or public area in the eyes of the general legislation or mother nature; however, it is not nearly the most dangerous thing that a tree has endured. It may not even matter much at all to a fully-grown tree—especially because it is hard enough to puncture even slightly into a tree. People who carve into trees will rarely cut deeply into it. Further, ruptures are made in trees for reasons commonly besides to create memorial markings—such as tapping maple trees in order to harvest maple. Based on research, drilling tapholes into trees, which is a common practice, is more dangerous to a tree than carving your initials here and there. Tapholes around two or more inches deep begin to act as a risk to a maple tree, however, who has the ability, and let alone will spend the time, carving their initials two inches into a tree? A small incision into a tree, just enough to prove one’s own existence in time, will not hurt the tree (Walters & Shigo, 1978). So, What Issue is There With Carving Into Trees?; Graffiti as a Political Statement There are a few issues with carving into trees, and not just that fact that carving into trees in public places is illegal, against the park’s specific regulations, and possibly immoral as it is vandalizing a scenic beauty of nature. Further, just as stereotypical graffiti is seen as art, and as a voice for many, so does the graffiti of tree carvings. While, like “urban graffiti,” tree carving is “maligned or ignored,” it is a ritual that “provides insights about the different ways that people engage with rural or semi-rural spaces”; hinting at “differing intensities of use and value over time, in many places documenting experiences of life now foreign to us”. Therefore, tree carvings say a lot. While graffiti “is often considered to be a symptom of urban decay” and many “find it unsightly or threatening,” it is revealed that such against-the-grain art can tell us “something about the character of places and the lives of forgotten voices from the recent or distant past” and be utilized as a way for people “to voice opinions” (Neal & Oliver, 2010, p. 15). Some graffiti may be a juvenile act of rebellion, but in the past graffiti has proven to also act as “resistance” to authority, “provocation” for change” or as a “political statement” (Fischer & Durr, 2020). No one said that graffiti has to be the stereotypical spray-paint-on-the-side-of-the-building. Hidden between those initials and hearts, especially in places where the stereotypical graffiti is not common, such as rural places, there may be hidden meaning, because graffiti in itself is “far from being mere vandalism”. It may in fact be a mode of expression for “subgroups that have been denied other avenues of self-expression” (Nwoye, 1993, p. 438). As a “true demonstration of individual expression”, messages writing through graffiti is “one of the most enduring acts of protest.” Many times politically charged topics are weaved into music, folklore, jokes, and more—but not everyone has the power to confront their topic of interest in such a way and have it recognized (Waldner & Dobratz, 2013, 379). While it tends to be commonly overlooked, it catches more eyes, and of such a wide audience, than many other forms of expression that outwardly is meant to enhance discussion on a topic. Such statements simply written on a wall, when passed by someone, if even accidentally notices may “make them think, question, act, or hate”—even if it isn’t allowed (Colucci, 2011, para. 6). Further, many confront graffiti, and many other well-renowned works of writing, art, etc., with a simple, but thought-provoking, question: Whether or not there has to be politically charged motivation for the outcome to be politically charged. This all comes down to the location and environment of an issue, as any politically charged piece in the wrong location can become “neutralized”. Usually, graffiti is telling of its location, along with of more than just the majority, since it is made by community members and has no restrictions or requirements—anyone can utilize graffiti throughout society. While it is stigmatized as a negative occurrence, and usually against legal regulations, there may be a further recognized security behind graffiti—ambiguity. In the twenty-first century, it has become well-realized that ambiguity, E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2


TREE Carving

such as through technology, makes it easier to confront controversial topics openly and passionately. This is commonly seen through anonymous complaints and comments on the internet. This is even the case if this ambiguity is of a person’s real essence or comes from a sense of distance away from those one may be conversing with, such as if one was commenting on a highly popular political post with their own opinions on an open and unhidden profile on a form of social media. While graffiti is confronted with a dual existence—as vandalism and as art. Either way, it as a medium for covering “political” or “socio-economic” topics and issues (Nwoye, 1993, 438), usually of one’s own community, is apparent. There is also a historic presence of graffiti, and it is not just from city life. Modern graffiti is assumed to have originated within Philadelphia in the early 1970s, centuries ago, and even prior to language itself, people were drawing on walls in caves in a similar manner (Blazeski, 2016)—and in some cases with similar motivations. Many of these drawings in caves were etched or carved, and whether such is on a tree or a rock, they are basically the same form of self-expression. Therefore, if cave-carvings are recognized as graffiti, it is only understandable that tree-carving is, too. Tree-carvings have already been recognized for their sense of self-expression, and ability to convey information about people as academics have “used them as a means of evaluating” how “mindsets changed over time” (De Abreu, 2021, para. 11). It is time they also be recognized as an outlet of expression, and a form of graffiti in its political and individualistic sense, in rural areas with less urban architecture. Even still, it is an outlet to a discussion on justice of peoples in a community.


When it comes to nature, and tree carving, graffiti is a common means in more urban areas because there are many places that graffiti can be found—the sides of buildings, on bridges, on the sidewalk, even. It is a radical and common way for the silenced to speak according to research (Colucci, 2011). However, just because in rural areas there are less places to express discussion through graffiti, I doubt there are less silenced people who wish to speak out. Therefore, through utilizing tree carving as a form of graffiti, this phenomenon inevitably links the environment to problems concerning the justice and recognition of the silences—which is mainly minorities of ethnic, racial, religious, and many other aspects. Even the simplest of graffiti and even doodles in a bathroom stall, as any artwork would, have meaning (Nwoye, 1993). A picture carries a thousand words, and even a simple heart carved on a tree can tell a story. Pulling from New Forest National Park Authority’s website, Tree graffiti (also referred to as Arborglyphs) is stated as “glimpses into the New Forest’s past” (para. 5) through “dates, pictures, poems, and royal marks” (para. 7) that “have been left by many different people” (n.d. para. 7). That simple heart carved in the tree can tell a story about years of happiness, or maybe even a tragic end. Besides just telling stories, as graffiti may, like urban graffiti, and any other form of expression and art, some may utilize tree graffiti in a less vague way to express a message they are consciously trying to spread—or as a political statement. Since tree carvings are recognized by many sources, such as New Forest National Park Authority’s website, as a type of graffiti, it is probable that research on the utilization of urban graffiti can be referred to on those looking into the effects and use of tree graffiti. Environmental justice, then, involves the combination of social justice for minorities in reference to environmental issues, which just so happen to affect the minorities of the population more than the majority. In this case, tree graffiti, in being utilized similar to urban graffiti in many cases as an aid to social justice protests (White, 2001), are a direct and environmental connection to social justice—making it a topic of environmental justice.


After finally finding inspiration for my assigned project, I spent more time at the Freedom Memorial Park in order to truly connect myself with the environment and my inspired topic of choice in order to fulfill my assignment. In looking around my surroundings, it was realized, still, that I rarely ever saw people around except for an occasional gathering here and there. Sometimes, there was a lone straggler, wondering around for the perfect place to sit to seemingly do homework. I then began to ask myself how what I have learned correlates to me and my own environment. In this meditation, I began to realize that when I do see people at the park, they tend to stick to themselves, or with the group they came from. I realized that people did not often acknowledge or nod to one another, and when someone did, I was able to see the shyness on their faces. Here, it dawned on me how hard it is to passionately want to share a topic of interest and importance to everyone in any way possible. This made me realize how much bravery it took for people to speak out on controversial, political, or really any statement of the sorts. With this revelation, I began to ask myself about my own shyness—I definitely never said hi to the person next to me on many occasions, and I definitely don’t go out on all occasions expecting to be open-armed to everyone I come across, or even hear everyone who speaks to me. In complete hypocrisy, there were also many times when my own voice was not heard when trying to meet new people, or even by the people I knew. It is human nature to listen but not hear, and to speak but not be heard. It is almost natural. However, this doesn’t make speaking about, especially the taboo or widely disregarded topics, any easier. I realized that this can easily be a factor, though possibly a small one or just one of many, of why people may choose to speak through non-verbal and artistic means. I often choose to express myself through writing, as it has always felt easier than speaking. It makes sense that the rebellious action of graffiti is often utilized by those trying to convey radical, commonly disregarded, or controversial thoughts, conversation, or movements. People will always recognize rebellion, and it will always be a topic of conversation itself, so one might as well use it to their own advantage if possible.


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TREE Carving


Though tree graffiti is less flashy, after my research I am completely convinced that it has and can speak for people just as any art piece can, and that it makes sense that in rural areas it be a form of expression in replacement of urban graffiti. While I have yet to come to a strong conclusion of how this newfound information should be utilized by me or others in the future, I have come to multiple smaller conclusions: While people should work to enforce more strongly that people refrain from carving into trees due to law, in doing so the carvings themselves and their possible meaning should be taken into account—turning this from a simple issue of enforcement of law to a possible gateway to the issue of justice. More attention should definitely be placed on tree carvings by those curious about the state of the people within their surrounding community, and looking to delve deeper into the societal issues, expectations, and overall feelings of it. These against-the-grain ways of expressing oneself speak more than words can. So, just as the Lorax does, we should speak for the trees, because the trees may as well be speaking for those of us who cannot.


Blazeski, G. (2016). The history of graffiti from ancient times to modern days. The Vintage News. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/11/17/the-history-of-graffiti-from-ancient-times-to-modern-days/ Colucci, E. (2011). Occupying the walls: Graffiti as political protest. Hyperallergic. https://hyperallergic.com/38778/occupying-the-walls-graffiti-as-political-protest/ De Abreu, K. (2021). Arborglyphs: Historic graffiti. Explorersweb. https://explorersweb.com/2021/06/27/arborglyphs-historic-graffiti/ Fischer, J. M., & Durr, E. (2020). Caring for the “good” city in ethical terms: Graffiti removal in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Newzealand Sociology, 35(1), 49-60. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/INFORMIT.219459154105532 Franklin, J. F., Shugart, H. H., & Harmon, M. E. (1987). Tree death as an ecological process. BioScience, 37(8), 550–556. https://doi.org/10.2307/1310665 Millersville Borough. (2017). Millersville Borough Freedom Memorial Park Rules and Regulations. https://millersvilleborough.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/parkrulesandregulations.pdf Millersville Borough, PA, Public Property, ch.278, § 2 (2021). https://ecode360.com/9653245 Neal, T. & Oliver, J. M. (2010). Elbow grease and time to spare: The place of tree carving. In J. Oliver, & T. Neal (Eds.), Wild Signs: Graffiti in Archaeology and History (pp. 15-22). (BAR, International Series ; Vol. 2074). Archaeopress. https://www.academia.edu/1995367/Elbow_Grease_and_Time_to_Spare_The_Place_of_Tree_Carving Nwoye, O. G. (1993). Social issues on walls: Graffiti in university lavatories. Discourse & Society, 4(4), 419–442. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42888781 Tree graffiti. (n.d.). New Forest National Park Authority. https://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/tree-graffiti/ Waldner, L.K. & Dobratz, B. A. (2013). Graffiti as a form of contentious political participation. Sociology Compass. 7(5), 377-389. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/soc4.12036 Walters, R. S., & Shigo, A. L. (1978). Tapholes in sugar maples: What happens in the tree. United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/6205 While, R. (2001) Graffiti, crime prevention & cultural space, current issues in criminal justice. Taylor & Francis Online, 12:3, 253-268. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10345329.2001.12036199

LEAH FREEMAN is a senior at Millersville University with a projected graduation date of December 2021. She is an English major with a concentration in writing studies, and double minoring in ESL linguistics and psychology. With a love for writing and all related to it, she has explored many opportunities, many coming from her participation in Millersville University’s Honors College, MU’s Phi Kappa Phi Circle, and MU’S ODK circle. She has been in the past editor of the Honors Report Newsletter, writer and editor for the University Research Newsletter, and Project Manager and editor for the MiMJ.

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CHOKED by the Invisible Hand By Jason W. Heitmann ABSTRACT Lancaster County in Pennsylvania serves as one of the state’s main agricultural hubs. It alone provides nineteen percent of Pennsylvania’s agricultural products, while contributing an average of $1.5 billion to the economy. Though productive in many ways, the business of farming has led to a phenomenon known as agricultural runoff. This is a negative side effect of using manure or commercial fertilizer in the fields and poor management practices, all of which allow harmful chemicals carried in sediment to seep into local creeks and streams. Elevated levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water cause harmful algal blooms (HABs) that disrupt the ecosystem by closing off the surface from the sun, which is needed for underwater life to thrive under normal conditions. When left to run its course, the end result of agricultural runoff is eutrophication. The nutrient-laden water feeds phytoplankton into full bloom which disrupts the entire ecosystem. This begins as a local issue but evolves into a regional issue very quickly, as the waterways of Lancaster County all empty into the Susquehanna River, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Recognizing this problem, local officials and farmers are cultivating a working relationship to mitigate and eventually eliminate agricultural runoff through best management practices (BMPs). Bridging the gap between these two parties is an important step in regaining balance from the damage that has been done to our waterways caused by agricultural runoff.


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In the heart of the Susquehanna Valley lies Lancaster County, known for its abundant Amish populations, rolling hills littered with creeks and streams, and sprawling farmland. This predominantly rural area is a hub of agricultural activity, where farmers grow everything from corn to soybeans and raise a variety of livestock such as dairy cattle, poultry, and hogs. Lancaster is responsible for nineteen percent of the state of Pennsylvania’s agricultural products to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars per year (Gruber, 2020). While the business of agriculture flourishes and provides consumable goods for the public, the industry is facing rightful criticisms due to the harm it has caused on local waterways through a phenomenon known as agricultural runoff. This phenomenon can be mitigated by taking the steps to move away from conventional farming methods and adopting a sustainable agriculture approach.


Let’s say that there’s a hog farm with fifty pigs that are being raised for meat. These pigs will be fed heartily to prepare them for slaughter as quickly as possible. As a result, the pigs make a lot of waste in the process. The pig manure is chock full of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and everything else that plants thrive on. To increase production efficiency, the farmer will use it as fertilizer in his fields. He spreads the manure around his land in hopes that the soil will soak up all the things it needs to maximize his crop yield. Typically, application of the manure is not a detailed endeavor, and too much is spread onto the soil not allowing it to be completely absorbed (Russ et. al, 2017). A hard rain or a heavy snow melt can move excess nutrients into the nearby waterways and, in a true trickle-down effect, these pollutants and sediment eventually make their way into all of Pennsylvania’s rivers and associated bodies of water (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2021a). On their way through each waterway, these nutrients wreak havoc on every aquatic ecosystem they encounter, causing algae blooms that deprive plants and water-dwelling creatures of the oxygen and sun they need to survive. More about algae blooms will be discussed in the next section. This is just one example of an agricultural process performed in Lancaster County. Imagine now hundreds of cases like this in a compact area. The potential damage is inflicted throughout the valley and ultimately contaminates the Chesapeake Bay. Intensive livestock operations like the hog farm described, or the like, manifest environmental justice issues in rural communities. Poorly placed or managed farming operations contribute to surface and groundwater pollution, compromising the drinking water supply of low-income individuals. Affected streams and rivers provide food in the way of fish for many poor and working-class people, making the fish-kills caused by agricultural runoff significant beyond an ecological standpoint (Harris, 1997). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines nonpoint source pollution as pollution that is dispersed from many different sources, rather than one single source such as a drainpipe from a sewage treatment or industrial plant. It states that “agricultural nonpoint source pollution is the leading source

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of water quality impacts on surveyed rivers and lakes, the second largest source of impairments to wetlands, and a major contributor to contamination of surveyed estuaries and ground water” (EPA, 2005, para.2). The United States Department of Agriculture reports that many “states have identified sediment and nutrients as the most extensive agricultural contaminants affecting surface water quality” (USDA, Pennsylvania Natural Resources Conservation Service, n.d., para.3). Many of the creeks and streams that meander through Lancaster’s farmlands have been labeled impaired by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where nitrogen and phosphorus are found to exceed healthy levels. In 2013, it was determined that farmers in Lancaster spread an average of 147 pounds per acre of nitrogen, and 40.3 pounds per acre of phosphorus, ranking second in the state only behind Somerset County. As agriculture continues to become a stronghold economy, Lancaster County has become one of the worst polluters in the state and ranks among the top four along with Union, Lebanon, and Franklin counties (Russ et. al, 2017). The strain of pollution caused by agricultural runoff starts as a local issue, however it affects life for miles. All of Lancaster County’s creeks and streams flow into the Susquehanna River, which is the largest freshwater source for the Chesapeake Bay, accounting for over half of the freshwater that makes its way there (DEP, n.d.).


Just as terrestrial plants need nutrients to grow and thrive, aquatic plants reap the same benefits. Think of nitrogen and phosphorus as performance-enhancing drugs in this example. A thriving, well-balanced aquatic ecosystem is referred to as oligotrophic. Oligotrophic water is low in nutrients, keeping microscopic marine algae known as phytoplankton in check. The water is clear, which allows sunlight to penetrate the surface and supplies submerged aquatic vegetation (SAVs) with the fuel they need to photosynthesize. This process provides oxygen to fish and shellfish to complete the cycle of a healthy aquatic ecosystem. When nutrients from agricultural runoff are introduced, phytoplankton now begin to thrive at the surface. SAVs get shaded out and the ecosystem is disrupted. The result is a state called eutrophication. Eutrophic water is laden with nutrients, feeding the phytoplankton to a full bloom. The phytoplankton’s short life cycle means that turnover is rapid, resulting in the accumulation of small particles of debris called detritus at the bottom of the water body. As decomposers feed on the detritus, they deplete the dissolved oxygen, eventually suffocating fish and shellfish. Eutrophication is the primary disruption due to agricultural runoff. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur when the microscopic organisms detailed above produce waterborne chemicals or toxins, that can severely impact both human and animal health, the economy, and the environment. Dangerous cyanotoxins are a by-product of HABs, which can cause an array of issues when exposure occurs through drinking water or recreational water activities (DEP, 2021d). According to CDC (2021), if humans come into contact with cyanotoxins, they can suffer from a variety of illnesses including stomach pain, neurological symptoms like muscle


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weakness or dizziness, vomiting, or liver damage. The same can be said for mammals, who come into contact with or ingest cyanotoxins, but the stakes are generally higher with the most extreme and unfortunate outcome of death (CDC, 2021). Economic impacts including the devaluation of property, loss of revenue generated from tourism and recreation, and cost increases regarding the treatment of drinking water. Environmental impacts are obvious declines of aquatic habitat and life (DEP, 2021d). There is another issue of sediment. Loose particles from plowed fields easily wash away into underlying creeks and rivers after weather events or hard melts. The soil in Lancaster County has an abundance of nitrogen and phosphorus due to overuse of manure. A study conducted found that Lancaster County, among four of the largest polluters, showed an exorbitant amount of each nutrient that was never absorbed and eventually washed away. In 2013, the croplands from just four counties in one single year lost 13.8 million pounds of nitrogen and 6.1 million pounds of phosphorus to the environment. As the study points out, “Animal production in the four focus counties is more intensive than the land can support, and now exceeds the carrying capacity of the landscape” (Russ et. al, 2017, p.13). The realities of agricultural runoff are stark and require urgent, preventative action to mitigate and eventually eliminate threats to our local water supplies. According to the Lancaster Clean Water Partners (2021), exactly half of the streams in Lancaster are considered impaired and yet only half of Lancaster’s farms have a conservation plan in place. As detrimental as this issue has been, there are many things that can be done by both landowners and government officials to avoid the disastrous outcomes that runoff can impose. Both parties have realized that a partnership working towards the same goal will have a greater outcome in the end. This is a key factor to combatting this issue. The relationship between farmer and government hasn’t always been cordial, but the two sides seem to be coming together when it comes to the problem of agricultural runoff. U.S. Representative from Lancaster County Lloyd Smucker notes that “Farmers for a long time have been looking for partnership with EPA ... rather than the adversarial relationship that too often exists” (Gruber, 2020, para.2). Armed with knowledge, farmers are more likely to lean in the direction of conservation, as they depend on the land for their livelihood. Senior agriculture program manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania Bill Chain points out that he’s “never met a farmer that didn’t want to leave the farm better than when they found it,” adding that “Increasingly, farmers want conservation to be part of (their) legacy” (Sears, 2021, para.5).


The tools used by modern farmers go beyond tractors and combines. There are those who implement best management practices (BMPs), which are farming methods that have been found to reduce or prevent sediment, nutrient, or waste runoff. BMPs break down into two categories.

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Structural BMPs are important infrastructure for collecting and/or containing harmful waste runoff. Animal mortality facilities provide a place to discard carcasses by containing harmful pathogens and minimizing odors. Providing livestock with a hard-surfaced walkway, such as gravel or concrete, that leads to and from grazing or processing areas helps to reduce erosion. Liquid manure storage provides a safe enclosure for this nutrient-laden material until it is to be used for fertilizer. Stream fencing and crossings are effective ways to keep livestock either completely out of the water or limit their access to one section of water, if a crossing is needed to get from one grazing pasture to another. Agronomic BMPs focus more on methodology, rather than architecture, and rely on a scientific approach when dealing with agriculture. Crop rotation with a bio-diverse plan in mind can mitigate the use of pesticides, while also providing a balance in plant nutrients, reducing the need for fertilizers, both commercial and natural. Conservation tillage methods involve planting new crops among the residue of the previous crop. This minimizes the disturbance to the soil and, in the end, highly reduces any possible sediment runoff. No-till farming also greatly reduces the need to run gas-powered equipment, saving the farmer money in fuel costs and saving the environment from enduring harmful emissions. Conventional tilling intrudes the ground up to fifteen inches below the surface, all of which will eventually be broken down to smaller, lighter granules that can be easily taken away by a hard rain or the like. Contour farming is another water conservation technique, which consists of planting crops along equal lines of elevations. Though time consuming with a curvy end result, the formation of a ridge and furrow system creates a check-dam that prevents erosion and reduces the transport of harmful sediment. Another common agronomic BMP are called riparian buffers. These are areas along stream banks or other bodies of water located near a farm that are purposely lined with trees, grasses, or shrubs. The added vegetative cover provides a natural filter, keeping sediment away from the water while also providing shade for aquatic wildlife. These are only a few of the BMPs provided by the Lancaster County Conservation District (LCCD, 2021). The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection provides a BMP verification program on their website, which highlights the “installation, function, and continued effectiveness of practices over time” (DEP, 2021b, para. 2). There, a conservation-minded farmer can find an in-depth reference guide that details every practice, along with guidance on the documenting and reporting of BMPs.


While a farmer may be willing to practice BMPs on his land, he may not be able to incur some of the costs that come along with being a steward of the environment. Local and state leaders recognize the urgent matter of clean water and have considered the current state of a pandemic-torn economy. In the spirit of working with local farmers, legislators are making funds available through grant programs and bills. In 2020, $2.5 million in grant money was made available by the Department of Agriculture, making each farmer eligible for up to $250,000 to use towards implementing BMPs. Farmers can apply for funds through their local county conservation district (Sauro, 2020). Lauded by conservationists and farmers alike, Senate Bill 245 called the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program would yield “targeted funding for conservation projects on local farms through their county conservation districts” (Sears, 2021, para.2). The Environmental Protection Agency has provided Pennsylvania farmers with $28 million towards their mutual goal of meeting the water pollution standards set by the federal government (Gruber, 2020). A county-wide action plan for clean water specific to Lancaster is available on the state’s DEP website. The document outlines all the resources and technical support needed to implement a clean water action plan.


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The disconnect between the powers that be and the farmers who depend on the land seems to be dwindling, leaving many with hopes of reducing Lancaster County’s pollution footprint on the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. As long as policymakers remain in lockstep with the farming communities, and the same is true in reverse, the goals of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Program can be met by 2025. These goals are lofty and are as follows: To reduce nitrogen runoff by 34 million pounds per year; to reduce phosphorus runoff by 0.7 million pounds per year; and to reduce overall sediment runoff by 531 million pounds per year (DEP, 2021c). Agricultural Secretary Russel Redding seems optimistic when referring to the farm community’s response, stating that “Pennsylvania farmers have demonstrated their commitment to sustaining our lives, even in the midst of unprecedented challenges” (Sauro, 2020, para.15). This is truly an issue that holds power in numbers. With relevant knowledge and seemingly endless resources, the failures of the local agricultural industry can be corrected, many times with simple methods that farmers can utilize on their land. The damage is not quite done, but it’s dangerously close to the point of no return. An urgent call to action is necessary for the health and safety of our local waterways and beyond.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, August 2). Illness and symptoms: Cyanobacteria in fresh water. https://www.cdc.gov/habs/illness-symptoms-freshwater.html U, P. (2020, June 12). EPA and farmers better together, agency boss says. Lancaster Farming. https://www.lancasterfarming.com news/main_edition/epa-and-farmers-better-together-agency-boss-says/article_e5b8b5f3-35e8-5f4b-b207-34a92d30a720.html. Harris, D.H. (1997, July 30). The industrialization of agriculture and environmental racism: A deadly combination affecting neighborhoods and the dinner table. Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy. https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/ Industrialization_of_Agriculture_and_Environme.htm Lancaster Clean Water Partners. (2021). Home page. https://lancastercleanwaterpartners.com/. Lancaster County Conservation District. (2021). Best management practices. https://lancasterconservation.org/agriculture/best-management-practices/ Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (2021a). Agriculture. https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Water/ Pennsylvania%E2%80%99s%20Chesapeake%20Bay%20Program%20Office/agriculture/Pages/Agriculture.aspx Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (2021b). BMP verification. https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Water/ Pennsylvania%E2%80%99s%20Chesapeake%20Bay%20Program%20Office/agriculture/Pages/BMP-Verification.aspx Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (2021c). Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay program office. https://www.dep pa.gov/Business/Water/Pennsylvania%E2%80%99s%20Chesapeake%20Bay%20Program%20Office/Pages/default.aspx Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (n.d.) The Susquehanna River story: Pennsylvania’s chronicle. https://gis.dep.pa.gov/Susquehanna/index.html Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (2021d). What are HABs? https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Water/HABs/Pages/default.aspx Russ, A., Nathan, A., Kelderman, K., Bernhardt, C., & Berkhart, K. (2017, August 31). Unsustainable agriculture: Pennsylvania’s manure hot spots and their impact on local water quality and the Chesapeake Bay. Environment Integrity Project. http://www.environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Unsustainable-Agriculture.pdf Sauro, S. (2020, June 18). $2.5 million available to farmers in Lancaster, York counties for soil retention. LancasterOnline. https://l2021c ancasteronline.com/news/local/2-5-million-available-to-farmers-in-lancaster-york-counties-for-soil-retention article_498c9cba-b00e-11ea-8967-9b0bec0fc1cf.html Sears, A. (2021, April 12). Agriculture conservation bill wins praise. 92.9 WNUZ | WNUZ.org. https://wnuz.org/agriculture-conservation-bill-wins-praise/ U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. (n.d.). Water. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/pa/water/ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2005). Protecting water quality from agricultural runoff. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-09/documents/ag_runoff_fact_sheet.pdf

JASON W. HEITMANN Towards the end of a near twenty-year career in the concrete construction industry, Jason was heading into his forties with no fire left in his belly for the trade he had given much of his time to in the first half of his working life. In the summer of 2017, he began to formulate a plan and took the steps to enroll in college with aspirations of earning a Bachelor’s degree. By the beginning of the Spring semester in 2018, he had hung up his tools and hit the books. He is now a Senior at Millersville working on a Geography major with a concentration in Environmental Studies, and a minor in History.

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ENVIRONMENTAL Racism and Justice


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ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM AND JUSTICE in Urban Development and Lancaster County By Jackson Fogel ABSTRACT The movement for environmental justice was born out of several grassroots movements, community actions, and national studies that highlighted the connection between adverse environmental quality and marginalized communities in the United States of America. Notable events were the efforts of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee to improve conditions for Hispanic farm laborers in the 1960s and the protests in Warren County, North Carolina, over the placement of a hazardous waste disposal site in a predominantly Black community. Modern authors within the environmental justice movement debate how to most effectively address the issue. Some have asserted that an economic angle focusing on the intersectionality of race and poverty would be the most useful way to inform future policy making decisions. Others have argued that modern study has diminished the definition and role of racism and racially-inspired politics in the related fields, and a comprehensive reassertion of the importance of race to environmental justice is necessary to make progress. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is not immune to these issues. Unequal housing opportunities and a lack of public transportation options for marginalized groups are some of the issues being addressed by local government, but progress has not been as quick as it could be and many areas still require assessment.

Modern society does not equally share the burden of environmental hazards, inadequate housing policy, and transportation inaccessibility. Every population center in the United States, from downtown Los Angeles to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is affected by racially motivated and discriminatory policies. For both local and federal governments to make actual progress towards a more inclusive and equal culture, they must identify and address the underlying racial politics that have created so many of the modern issues. By examining the history and discourse surrounding the environmental justice movement, we can better understand how it applies to our own society and the policies being enacted today. The movement towards environmental justice and equality began to take a serious hold in the 1960s and 1970s because of several major movements and publications which brought attention to the subject. It was given a name and directive in a landmark study conducted by the United Church of Christ called Toxic Waste and Race in the United States, which was published in 1987 and set the stage for a critical understanding of how non-white individuals were disproportionately affected by environmental hazards in this country. While the UCC report brought national attention to how discriminatory environmental policies disproportionately affected people of color, an assessment of some major events offers a greater insight into the foundations of the environmental justice movement.


A Working Definition of Environmental Justice

The Environmental Protection Agency defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” (para. 1). This definition, in so many words, declares that the EPA will be devoted to fighting racism within environmental policy, which includes land development, waste disposal, and urban planning. The EPA clarifies that this standard will only be achieved when everybody in the United States enjoys both equal degrees of protection from harmful pollutants and an equal ability to participate in policy making regarding exposure to such hazards (para. 1). The main methodology for completing the EPA’s goal is to involve more minority groups in the policy making process so there is a rich and diverse chorus of voices addressing the issue. This will aid in creating equality regarding environmental impact and exposure to hazards and other unequal procedures. As such, the main methodology for completing the EPA’s goal of creating equality regarding environmental impact and exposure to hazards and other unequal procedures is to involve more minority groups in the policy making process so that there is a more diverse chorus of voices addressing the issue. In addition to the nationally focused EPA, Pennsylvania has its own official body to address these issues. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, or DEP, has its own Office of Environmental Justice, also referred to as the OEJ. This organization handles the implementation of environmental procedure in Pennsylvania, including in Lancaster County, by “ensuring that Pennsylvanians most at risk from pollution and other environmental impacts have a voice in the decision-making process” (Office). The main goals of the OEJ emphasize the need to minimize adverse environmental effects on low income and minority communities, empower said communities to open dialogue with the state government to ensure their needs are met, and foster economic opportunities to uplift the communities facing environmental discrimination. Throughout the entire DEP website, connections are drawn to E n g a g e for C h a n g e | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2


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the overlapping nature of low-income communities and those experiencing adverse environmental impacts, but this last of the three stated main goals creates the clearest connection between the two ideas. The DEP and OEJ are stating that in their quest to dispel the problematic and unequal environmental practices, they must also address income disparities as an aspect of their mission. Within the OEJ is another committee, the Environmental Justice Advisory Board, or EJAB. The stated goal of EJAB is to provide a forum for communities to promote their health and safety through environmental action, with their list of objectives including such measures as “To Eliminate any existing environmental disparities in minority and low-income communities;” and “To ensure equitable enforcement of regulations and statutes, and the equitable application of internal guidance and policies within minority and low-income communities,” among others (Environmental Justice). In essence, the EJAB contributes to the OEJ and EPA’s overall mission by creating a space for communities within Pennsylvania to bring concerns relating to environmental justice to the attention of the state government so that the DEP knows where action is most necessary. These government programs and the provided definitions create a more decisive picture of the federal explanation for environmental justice. Both the United States and Pennsylvania governments see the movement as the intersection of race and discrimination in the form of exposure to environmental hazards. That is an acknowledgment of the fact that people belonging to marginalized communities are often at higher exposure to waste sites, hazardous chemicals, and other poor environmental conditions. These issues are often propagated and exacerbated by discriminatory housing and transportation policies which restricts the movement of marginalized groups, preventing them from escaping the environmental hazards they are placed with.


There were several initiating factors which contributed to the spread of the environmental justice movement in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the more notable examples was the effort for safer working conditions for Hispanic farm workers in California in the late 1960s and early 1970. Hispanic and Latino immigrant workers were one of the first major groups to become identified with what we now refer to as environmental racism. These immigrants in California were subjected to all kinds of racial prejudices. Pulido (1993) points out two of the more prominent stereotypes, “such as the belief that Mexicanos were well suited for stoop work because of their stature, or the strategic myth that Mexicanos/Chicanos didn’t mind seasonal work, as they didn’t want to settle down anyway” (p. 15). As a result of these racially motivated social attitudes, Hispanic and Latino workers were often pushed into performing manual labor on farms. Farm work was incredibly hazardous at the time due to the variety of harmful chemicals that were used as pesticides that these farm hands became directly exposed to, specifically chemical insecticides known as DDT and organophosphates. “Because farm workers are overwhelmingly Chicano/Latino (i.e.: nonwhite) and are disproportionately subjected to a very real form of environmental contamination, agricultural chemicals, it is interpreted as environmental racism” (Pulido, 1993, p. 15). In this case, the farm workers started organizing and asserting more power in the workplace by beginning the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, improving their working conditions, and making great strides in California’s legal systems. According to Pulido’s account of the movement from 1993, the UFWOC negotiated for an unprecedented amount of power in their new labor relationship, saying “it broke new ground in protecting workers and giving them unprecedented power in managing ranch pesticide use” (p. 16), including the regulation, restriction, and prevention of exposure to harmful chemicals like DDT. The movement was not only localized to the west coast. On the other side of the country, the early stages of the environmental justice movement were growing in North Carolina in 1978. Large corporations were illegally dumping 31,000 gallons of a highly dangerous chemical called polychlorinated biphenyl across 14 different counties. The result of these actions was contaminated soil that necessitated the construction of a landfill to be disposed of. There were two choices for potential landfills to dispose of the collected toxic soil, one in Warren County and one in Chatham County. The Warren County site constituted a high risk for contamination of the local water supply due to a shallow water table but was chosen anyway. There were several factors playing into this decision, such as the fact that the Chatham County site would have more red tape to cross had the landfill been placed there, but there was one notable figure to consider: “in 1980, Warren County was 60 percent black and 25 percent of its families were below the poverty line (and the area immediately near the site had even higher proportions of people of color), whereas the corresponding figures for Chatham County were only 27 percent and 6 percent” (Banzhaf et al., 2019, p. 185). The move brought about a significant amount of community backlash, and the protests and media surrounding garnered national attention for the issue of environmental justice and discrimination.


Pennsylvania’s Environmental Justice Areas and Attitudes Towards Environmental Justice As mentioned previously, the DEP is the governing body in charge of implementing environmental policy in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. One of the ways it does so is by identifying and examining locations as Environmental Justice Areas, or EJ Areas. EJ Areas are defined as “any census tract where 20 percent or more individuals live at or below the federal poverty line, and/or 30 percent or more of the population identifies as a non-white minority, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the federal guidelines for poverty” (PA Environmental). These designations are created so that individuals in these groups receive the necessary recognition to prevent adverse decisions being made because of their identity, like what occurred in Chatham County, North Carolina. Several of the EJ Areas found on the map provided by the DEP are located in the center of Lancaster County.


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ENVIRONMENTAL Racism and Justice

Residents of Lancaster County are well aware of the environmental needs in their community. According to a paper published by Ursinus College in 2019, individuals living in Lancaster County were vocal and engaged with issues relating to environmental justice. Discussing a public forum in regard to local environmental policy, many individuals had strong opinions about the construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline being built in the local community. In addition to that, the paper states, “the most salient issues to the speakers were the impact of Pennsylvania’s environmental choices may have on other communities, states, and nations, and the definition of environmental justice and environmental justice areas” (Hofmann, 2019). There has also been an increase in community participation in environmentally conscious activities with Lancaster residents over the past few years, especially in collaboration with environment-focused organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. According to CBF, “Urban and suburban polluted runoff is a leading source of stream pollution in Pennsylvania” (para. 7). In an effort to combat polluted runoff and protect clean drinking water, CBF funded efforts to plant over 100 new trees along streets in Lancaster City to collect and purify groundwater runoff, as well as information campaigns in nearby York and Harrisburg.


In recent years, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has made efforts to assess and address some of the issues discussed, such as unequal access to transportation and housing, but the problems are still having a major effect on our community. In the 2021 Analysis to Impediments of Fair Housing Choice, a study performed on behalf of the City of Lancaster, the analyzing body reviewed the previous report from 2013 and reviewed progress made on action items in that report. In response to the 2013 impediment that “Lancaster County and City of Lancaster are racially and ethnically segregated,” the committee found that the suggested action items, which included providing housing education to potential homeowners, pushing housing professionals to engage with a more diverse group, and surveying reasons for living in specific areas, were “not accomplished” (Lancaster County Redevelopment, p. 68). As the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty (2016) points out, “Today, in the twenty-first century, municipalities all across Lancaster County continue to allow pockets of segregated poverty to exist, both in the city and in their own jurisdictions” (p. 16). According to the latest information from the U.S. Census Bureau Lancaster County is overwhelmingly white, with the group making up 81% of its population (2019, table 2). Even so, there are serious ramifications from the revitalization efforts which restructured and dispersed the African American community in the city. Lancaster is still making strides to address its current inequalities, especially the inaccessibility of public transport for minority communities. An environmental justice analysis performed by the Lancaster County Transportation Coordinating Committee found that a significant number of proposed construction projects would increase access to

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transportation services for non-white and impoverished families (2016, p. 20). Additionally, the same report found that “there is an equitable distribution of … funding throughout the identified EJ-sensitive areas” (p. 21). This equitable distribution of funds, while not specifically used to address environmental hazards, is a clear indicator that Lancaster County is willing to financially support a move towards a more inclusive community regarding environmental justice. It is not clear whether people from the potentially affected groups were involved in either the planning or the review of the projects, which could potentially cast doubt onto the commitment to equity they espouse. Both the Mayor’s Commission and the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing present possible routes to address unequal housing practices, both in the county as a whole and in Lancaster City specifically. While both documents provide recommendations for equitable and fair housing practices, especially regarding minority communities in Lancaster City, neither effectively investigates or provides a solution for institutional racism in the government of Lancaster County and City. Instead, it falls into the same issue that Pulido and Bullard find with a lot of the current literature: it focuses on addressing socio-economic concerns regarding problems like housing and transportation while neglecting to engage in a serious conversation about internalized racial policies.


Discourse Over Racism’s Definition in the Environmental Justice Movement Even though there is a widely accepted definition of what environmental justice must entail, there is a varying degree of agreement about what focus the movement should take. Specifically, there is an ongoing discussion about whether factors affecting environmental justice are more closely tied to poverty and economic situations or to institutionalized racism which forces non-white individuals into communities more prone to exposure and problematic hazard placement. In “Environmental Justice: The Economics of Race, Place, and Pollution,” Banzhaf, Ma, and Timmins (2019) prefer the view that economic policy and support would be the most effective option to combat environmental racism, saying “people-based investments that target income inequality may be more fruitful than targeting environmental correlations, especially if sorting is the predominant force underlying environmental justice correlations” (p. 203). That is not to say that the paper neglects to analyze the connection between race and poverty, and it quite often brings the two together in statements like “the overall finding that low-income households and people of color have greater exposure to environmental hazards is broadly supported by the application of these alternative measures” (p. 189). Despite this union of two potential causes of discriminatory exposure to environmental hazards, Banzhaf, Ma, and Timmins (2019) choose to highlight the impact of collective action through economic and political power, saying that “They again find that measures of the potential for collective action are important determinants of enforcement activities, but also that race does not have an independent effect” (p. 202). In their conclusion, rather than suggest systemic racism and ways to address it within the current power structures, they provide options that benefit those of “lower socioeconomic status” instead focusing on how situating environmental hazards within non-white communities affect the wealth of the community in general (Banzhaf et al., 2019, p. 203). The economic angle is one that is rather popular in the modern literature discussing environmental justice, but some authors have expressed a belief that this does not do enough to introduce a substantive discussion of racism into the conversation. People belonging to marginalized communities are often subjected to discriminatory housing policies and inadequate aid programs which prevent them from being able to escape harmful situations. Bullard says as much in his article “The Threat of Environmental Racism” (1993): “The ability of an individual to escape a health-threatening physical environment is usually correlated with income. However, housing discrimination, redlining, and residential segregation make it difficult for some individuals to buy their way out of health-threatening physical environments” (p. 24). With policies like these in place, while there is overlap with socioeconomic stations, it becomes nearly impossible to properly address the inequities in hazardous environmental exposure. Pulido (2000) directly claims that “scholars of environmental racism have not seriously problematized racism, opting instead for a de facto conception based on malicious, individual acts” (p. 12). She means to say that allegations of racism are only leveled when one can prove that the act was intentional. Authors like Bullard and Pulido believe instead that racism is inherent in certain policy considerations, often resulting in racially discriminatory housing measures. This, in turn, often results in marginalized communities having poorer air quality, living closer to pollutants, and having unequal access to services such as public transportation. These uneven distributions are often quite serious; Bullard (1993) showcases shocking statistics from the 1970s, specifically that “Although African-Americans made up only 28 percent of Houston’s population, 83 percent of the municipal landfill sites (public and private) were located in African-American neighborhoods” (p. 24), and Pulido (2000) concludes that understanding the structural and spatial aspects of environmental racism “requires acknowledging that multiple forms of racism exist, including less conscious forms not characterized by malicious intent and hostility” (p. 33). Even if modern policies do not seem to be racially motivated, they may codify implicit biases without the intention of performing a racist action. In order to adequately combat environmental racism, there needs to be an understanding of the underlying historical factors and structural racism which informs a significant amount of the relevant policies. Everything from the placement of bus routes to who is offered the chance to influence and create the policies has the potential to continue a tradition born out of racial exclusion. Communities, both on the federal and local level, need to strive to diversify the people involved and examine their policies to attempt to address the underlying racism in their policies.


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Lancaster City and the larger Lancaster County is not a particularly industrialized area, and many of the traditional environmental hazards around the country are not necessarily present. Even so, there are serious issues regarding accessibility to transportation services and equitable treatment in the housing market, especially for non-white residents. The local government is trying to address these inequalities in line with the current beliefs and federal leadership regarding environmental justice. This involves finding ways to address economic inequality as a method to lift the poorer members of society up and provide a level of security while opening a dialogue with minority groups that are often not adequately represented in the policy-making process. While a useful and respectable effort, there is room for improvement by engaging in a serious, critical discussion of how to address institutionalized and systemic racial prejudices and how they have informed and influenced both the urban planning of Lancaster City and the current efforts to improve the society.


Banzhaf, S., Ma, L., & Timmins, C. (2019). Environmental Justice: The Economics of Race, Place, and Pollution. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33(1), 185–208. Bullard, R. D. (1993). The Threat of Environmental Racism. Natural Resources & Environment, 7(3), 23–56. Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (n.d.). Environmental justice projects take hold. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.cbf.org/about-cbf/locations/pennsylvania/whats-up-in-pennsylvania/environmental-justice-projects-take-hold.html Environmental Justice Advisory Board. Department of Environmental Protection. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/EnvironmentalJustice/Pages/default.aspx Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Environmental Justice. EPA. Retrieved October 30, 2021, from https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice Hofmann, K. (2019, July 19). How Pennsylvanians Define Environmental Justice. Ursinus College. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://digitalcommons.ursinus.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=soc_sum Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority. (2021, February). 2021 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. https://www.lchra.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2021-Analysis-of-Impediments-to-Fair-Housing-DRAFT.pdf Lancaster County Transportation Coordinating Committee. (2016, April 29). DRAFT Environmental Injustice Analysis. Lancaster County Planning. https://lancastercountyplanning.org/DocumentCenter/View/286/EJ-Analysis?bidId= The Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty. (2016, December 15). One Good Job: A Strategic Plan to Cut Poverty in Half in Lancaster City by 2032. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5696e29e9cadb6a9d7fc605f/t/ 585304cf5016e1d1bb29cc76/1481835763393/Commission+Plan+for+website.pdf Office of Environmental justice. Department of Environmental Protection. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/OfficeofEnvironmentalJustice/Pages/default.aspx PA Environmental Justice Areas. Department of Environmental Protection. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/OfficeofEnvironmentalJustice/Pages/PA-Environmental-Justice-Areas.aspx Pulido, L. (1993). Deconstructing Environmental Racism: A Look at the Early Pesticide Campaign of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. Race, Poverty & the Environment, 4(3), 14–16. Pulido, L. (2000). Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 90(1), 12–40. U.S. Census Bureau (2019). American Community Survey 1-year estimates. Retrieved from Census Reporter Profile page for Lancaster County, PA. http://censusreporter.org/profiles/05000US42071-lancaster-county-pa/

JACKSON FOGEL is a junior in the Millersville University Honors College pursuing studies in English, History, and Government. His interests include the history of revolutionary movements, international politics, and postcolonial literature. He is currently a member of the Orientation Planning Committee and The Crew, a group of students associated with the Admissions team. He has previously written and edited for the University Research Newsletter at Millersville University, and volunteers time writing and editing the newsletter for the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania. He was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and is invested in local issues and politics.

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Call for Papers

GENDER JUSTICE What is gender justice? Who is affected by gender inequalities? While some legislative changes (Equality Act, Paycheck Fairness Act) and social movements (#MeToo movement) are happening on a national scale, how does PA fare with respect to gender rights? Is there more PA could be doing? How have PA citizens been impacted by unequal pay, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, gender violence, domestic violence, family leave, LGBTQ+ issues, transgender and reproductive rights and in what contexts (workplaces, education, healthcare, sports, politics, entertainment)? What are ways gender inequality has affected you personally? We accept submissions from undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and community members (collaborative submissions are encouraged). We accept a diverse range of articles, from research articles to personal perspectives, creative pieces, and reviews.


October 16, 2022

Check out our website for more information on article types and the submission process: blogs.millersville.edu/engageforchangejournal CONTACT Kerrie R.H. Farkas, Founder and Co-Editor: engageforchangejournal@millersville.edu

Millersville University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. A member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.